Ensuring conservation, good governance and sustainable livelihoods through landscape management of mangrove ecosystems in Manabí, Ecuador

2018.10.30

  • SUBMITTED ORGANISATION

  • Fundación para la Investigación y Desarrollo Social (FIDES); Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES); Conservation International Japan

  • DATE OF SUBMISSION

  • 30/10/2018

  • REGION

  • South America

  • COUNTRY

  • Ecuador (Manabí Province)

  • SUMMARY

  • In the area at the mouth of the rivers Chone and Portoviejo, which consists of mangrove forest, islands, beaches, wetlands and saltwater areas, and incorporates the dry tropical forest of the Bálsamo Mountain Range, local communities have been living on fish, crustaceans, shellfish harvesting and agriculture. However, harvesting has been significantly reduced due to sedimentation and pollution, mainly caused by the chemical residue of agricultural and shrimp farming activities. The dry tropical forest faces a reduction of its area due to urbanization and the expansion of agricultural areas. Communal organizations promote sustainable activities devoted to restoration and conservation of the ecosystems through mangrove and dry forest species reforestation. Improvement of local governance has resulted in their territories becoming protected areas and recognized by the National System of Protected Areas (SNAP). Because the economic livelihoods of the communities depend on healthy ecosystems, sustainable activities such as ecotourism, artisanal salt extraction, and artisanal fishery and harvesting have been developed. The communities have applied the Indicators of Resilience tool to assess their Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS) to determine whether these socio-economic activities can occur while maintaining the integrity of the ecosystems in the SEPLS. Besides establishing a baseline to quantify the progress of the resilience conditions, the resilience evaluation allowed participating local communities and organizations to develop a work plan that incorporated these actions. As a result, it was concluded that the resilience evaluation helped the local communities and organizations to 1) share knowledge on strengths and weaknesses of the SEPLS; 2) provide opportunities for the debate and analysis of SEPLS between members of the communities; 3) develop priority action plans to strengthen the resilience of the SEPLS; and 4) rethink and recognize how the project would help to address key threats and weaknesses.

  • KEYWORD

  • Landscape approach, mangrove ecosystem, livelihoods improvement, strengthening governance, resilience

  • AUTHOR

  • Jairo Díaz Obando (FIDES), María Dolores Vera (FIDES), Ikuko Matsumoto (IGES), Devon Dublin (Conservation International Japan), Yoji Natori (Conservation International Japan), Andrea Calispa (FIDES)

Summary Sheet

The summary sheet for this case study is available here.

Background

Mangroves are considered one of the world’s most productive ecosystems, providing important economic, cultural, and social services for the various communities settled around them (Ong 1982; Berger, Smetacek & Wefer 1989; Bunt 1992, Kathiresan & Bingham 2001). The study area is a mangrove ecosystem, production landscape and seascape, located within two estuaries, the Chone River Estuary and Portoviejo River Estuary of Manabí Province, Ecuador, and the dry forest of the Bálsamo Mountain Range between these estuaries (Fig. 1, 2 and Table 1).

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