In an effort to make a real difference in their community and address issues related to the environment, members of the Sanyang Youths for Environmental Protection and Development (SANYEPD) are making waves with their hands-on approach to mangrove restoration and environmental advocacy in the Gambia.

SANYEPD has partnered with Blue Ventures to embark on an initial mangrove restoration project in Kartong, Gunjur, and Sanyang. The goal is to restore six hectares of mangroves, a crucial effort to protect Gambian coastal ecosystems and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Part of SANYEPD’s mission is to encourage intergenerational dialogues to unite community members, youth, and local authorities and create a platform for open and constructive discussions. Key topics of concern include the impact of fish meal factories, overfishing, depleted fish stocks and sand mining activities responsible for long-lasting environmental degradation. These dialogues are instrumental in sharing innovative ideas and collectively seeking solutions to these pressing challenges. They also underline the significance of involving younger and older generations in effectively tackling environmental issues.

SANYEPD has continued beyond community dialogues, expanding its reach outside the Gambia with a learning exchange visit to Senegal. This experience was eye-opening as the team got first-hand experience in large-scale mangrove restoration and actively participated in workshops to spread awareness about the vital role of mangroves and the broader impact of climate change on communities dependent on these ecosystems. These collaborative efforts are set to evolve further, with plans for a comprehensive knowledge exchange visit across Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea Bissau in the coming year.

Muhammed Jabang, president of SANYEPD, reflected on their journey so far,

This project has opened many doors for us as we met with different people with whom we share the same vision and passion. We now have a network and have opened new friendships, family ties and, most importantly, an avenue for us all to learn from each other. Blue Ventures has been an amazing partner for us, and we look forward to continuing to work together to achieve so many great things together.

SANYEPD is setting a shining example in the battle against climate change and for a healthier environment. Its efforts go beyond restoring mangroves; it is dedicated to making its community safer, more sustainable, and more resilient. Through its engagement with local communities and partnerships with like-minded organisations like Blue Ventures, SANYEPD serves as an inspiration not only to environmentalists but also to youth groups looking to make a change in their communities worldwide.

Posted by Blue Ventures

Blue Ventures is an award winning marine conservation charity. We rebuild tropical fisheries with coastal communities. On our Beyond Conservation blog you can hear voices from the front line of marine conservation written by our staff and volunteers.

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