“It especially leads to improved livelihoods through job creation when done by communities,” Laitani Suleiman, a committee member of the Mikoko Pamoja, added.

In a bid to protect coastal communities from climate change and encourage investment, African nations are increasingly turning to mangrove restoration projects, with Mozambique becoming the latest addition to the growing list of countries with large scale mangrove initiatives, AP reports.

Mozambique follows efforts across the continent — including in Kenya, Madagascar, Gambia and Senegal — and is touted as the world’s largest coastal or marine ecosystem carbon storage project. Known as blue carbon, carbon captured by these ecosystems can sequester, or remove, carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at a faster rate than forests, despite being smaller in size.

Mozambique’s mangrove restoration project — announced in February alongside its UAE-based partner Blue Forest — hopes to turn 185,000 hectares (457,100 acres) in the central Zambezia and southern Sofala provinces into a forest which could capture up to 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide, according to project leaders.

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