Protecting threatened Over-seas biodiversity

Mayotte: more than 400 students made aware of the protection of mangroves!

On February 25, the association GEPOMAY, partner of LIFE BIODIV’OM, participated in the “Village mangrove” festival, organized by the association Les Naturalistes de Mayotte.

GEPOMAY at the “Mangrove Village” © cred_Cyrielle Randrianarivony

The Village Mangrove Festival
The Mangrove Village is a traveling festival for schoolchildren, which transports them to the mangrove in order to carry out a set of activities on the theme of biodiversity, waste and health. This event is part of the project “With My School, I protect My Mangrove”.
Organized by Les Naturalistes de Mayotte, this festival took place from February 25 to 28, 2020 on Iloni beach, as well as in Kaweni.

The objective of the project is to educate 9,000 CM1-CM2 students in Mayotte on 3 themes: the importance of the mangrove, environmental unhealthiness (water pollution, mosquitoes and rats) and waste management. It thus raises awareness of one of the primordial ecosystems of wetlands, the mangroves.

As part of the project, activities are carried out in the classes (2 half-days per class). Following these activities, the classes are invited to join a “Mangrove Village”, organized everywhere in the Mahoran territory. In February, 3 days of festival were therefore organized.

GEPOMAY participated in one of these days, Tuesday, February 25, organized on the beach of Iloni (commune of Dembéni). Other environmental associations were invited, such as the association for the protection of sea turtles Oulanga Na Nyamba or Espace Info Energie.

In total, on February 25, 16 classes, or nearly 400 students, participated in the day. The classes were offered 5 activities by the Naturalistes de Mayotte, then one activity per association invited. GEPOMAY presented the Madagascar pond heron, emblematic bird of the mangrove, using a game to learn how to use binoculars, to describe and recognize a bird.

Ecosystem made up of trees, it is located in the tidal zone, highly threatened by human activities. However, mangroves protect the coastline by preventing erosion by capturing part of the sediment from agricultural areas and by reducing the force of the waves which could damage the coastline. It is often said that the mangrove protects “the land from the sea” and “the sea from the land”. In addition to filtering water and improving its quality, this habitat also serves as a nursery for turtles, sharks and juvenile fish which they use to hide from predators, allowing them to develop peacefully. In addition, this ecosystem represents a breeding site for many endangered bird species, such as the Madagascar pnd heron in Mayotte.