Mangrove Restoration in the Coastal Zone of Maranhão State
Fundação Sousândrade de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento da UFMA
In Brazil, Alcoa Foundation is partnering with Fundação Sousândrade de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento da UFMA on a mangrove research and education initiative.
The municipality of Apicum Açu, on the western coast of Maranhão State, harbors some of Brazil's most extensive mangrove forests. It is recognized by the RAMSAR International Convention as a protected site, as well by Maranhão State Law. Some of the islands of this coastal zone are suffering from the effects of rising sea levels, resulting in loss of land and displacement of local people. Deforestation of mangroves by local people only serve to exacerbate the problem.
The mangrove conservation program with Fundação Sousândrade de Apoio will improve both scientific knowledge and community awareness on issues of mangrove biodiversity and conservation in Maranhão. The main goal of the program is to influence public behavior and attitudes to avoid deforestation, overfishing and solid waste pollution -- ultimately leading people to "best practices in citizenship" with the mangroves as the main focus.