Restoring a Mangrove Forest as Sustainable Infrastructure Development: Experience from the Saloum Delta, Senegal

The Saloum Delta in Senegal is a tropical mangrove ecosystem, rich in biodiversity, that provides livelihoods for more than 100,000 inhabitants. It consists of large surfaces of water, mangroves, saltwater vegetation, and forests. The Delta offers multiple services to local communities as well as a rich habitat for species. Since 2011, part of the Delta has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Unfortunately, this ecosystem is currently under pressure due to climate change and the unsustainable use of the mangrove forests. This has led to coastal erosion and salination issues that threaten local livelihoods and regional development. If nothing is done, the degradation of the Delta will jeopardize the economic, social, and environmental viability of the region.

The Saloum Delta represents natural capital that can be harnessed for a host of long-term gains. The rich ecosystem and the unique biodiversity offer a wide array of ecosystem services that can generate sustainable patterns of development.

The Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) of the Saloum Delta published in June 2020 provides an integrated assessment of the contribution of the Delta to sustainable development. The report, along with a related brochure, is available in English and French.