Justin Kasety: "Conserving mangroves for nature and for us".

Posted on July, 22 2020

Justin Kasety is a 40-year-old married father of seven children: two boys and five girls, all already married. Kasety was not fortunate enough to spend many years in school, but today he has mastered the sustainable management of mangroves.
Kasety is the president of the grassroots community called "Analamaitso tsy ho gnan'olo" (The Green Forest that is ours in English). With his community organization, he manages 5,002 hectares of mangroves around his village of Kivalo, in the heart of the Menabe Antimena protected area in western Madagascar.

This connection with nature has been developed in Kasety since he was very young, when he used to go fishing with his mother on the shores because he was not yet allowed to go to sea. They are fishers from father to son. The ocean and coastal biodiversity are important to his family.

The joint effort of the community association "Analamaitso tsy ho gnan'olo" has resulted the Kivalo mangroves being among the most preserved in Menabe. Together, the community was able to restore 56 hectares of mangroves between 2014 and 2020. The mangrove forests are the main tourist asset of the village and creating activities around the mangroves provides a living for their families. Thanks to the awareness of Justin Kasety and his team, the whole community is aware of the role of mangroves as a nursery for many species of fauna and flora, a natural solution to coastal erosion, and a source of fishing products for their daily income. The community is now convinced of the need to manage their mangroves sustainably, and their commitment is supported by WWF.

As part of the celebration of International Mangrove Day, Kasety reiterates his plea: "I understand that we have to find a way to support ourselves, but if we don't do the right thing for nature, our children will suffer because resources will disappear, mangrove conservation is not just for nature, but for us.”