Mangrove Garita Palmera is located in the lower part of the Paz River in El Salvador and serves as a barrier against floods and strong winds for coastal communities; this ecosystem has already lost 50% of its forest cover and faces several threats because the deforestation.
Although the construction of a retention wall would seem to be the easiest option to prevent damage from floods, this is not a long term and sustainable solution.
Mauricio Lemus Polanco, a resident of El Tamarindo village for more than fifty years, has witnessed how hurricanes and tropical storms such as the recent 12E, and the hurricanes Agatha and Mitch, back in 1998, have impacted the geography of the area, their livelihoods and their local food security: Fishermen and curil catchers are forced to move their homes further inland, and inside the mangrove.
We affect the mangrove health, and this impact reduces the crabs populations.
IUCN and UNES (a local NGO supported by national institutions) are implementing a demonstration adaptation strategy that strengthens local capacities for ecosystem and water management. Communities are recovering the natural drainages of the mangrove, such as El Aguacate, La Danta and El Chino, currently full of sediments. In addi¬tion, 450.000 new trees were planted for the reforestation of the mangrove ecosystem.
Training workshops help to raise awareness on the ben¬efits of the sustainable use of mangroves, and the impor¬tance of this ecosystem for adaptation to climate change. Based on this, communities organized a surveillance local committee which established a “closed season” for fishing and forestry.