Anthropogenic Stressors on Mangrove Ecosystem and the Emergence of Mangrove Refugia on Parts of the Eastern Atlantic Coastline of Cameroon
The Atlantic coastline that adjoins Mount Cameroon is facing an ecological crisis as its mangrove ecosystem is progressively being depleted. Main stressors relate to inherent human activities notably; uncontrolled mangrove extraction for fuel, the creation of touristic/recreational sites, settlement expansion and agricultural development. As a corollary, the two dominant species of mangrove-Avicennia germinans and Rhizophora racemosa that once flourished over a large area now appear in refugia particularly in the south western coastline of Fako Division. In this region, thirty eight mangrove refugia were identified. Their mean altitudinal location is 11m above sea level as they range from five to nineteen metres. The degradation of the mangrove is accompanied by a savanisation process. In order to enhance the ecological resilience and sustainability of the mangroves in the region, a simple management plan has been developed based on the concept of close area management. This plan, groups the mangroves into six principal lots wherein, each of them calls for a particular management system. Consequently, zonation, sensitization program and the creation of a participatory management plan to mention but these will enhance sustainable growth and exploitation of mangroves along the coastline of Cameroon.
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