Yamoussa Cissé, grew up in Kogon Village, Yattiya sector, located in Tristao Islands, Northern Guinea – one of the islands which form the border of Guinea Republic and Guinea Bissau. The islands are characterized by expansive sandbanks, estuaries, mud, and mangrove forests which host numerous species including sea turtles and crocodiles. Guinea’s coastal area extend 320 km2 dotted by inlets, estuaries, and numerous offshore islands. The country’s mangrove area extends up to 40km inland.

Mangroves play a vital role in coastal ecology, securing and sustaining coastal communities. They protect coastlines from extreme storms, erosion, and wave action. They also act as carbon sink sequestering 3-5% more carbon unit per area – more than any other forest system. In addition, mangroves help local communities to have an abundance of fish resources, through facilitating fish reproduction throughout the coastline particularly shrimps and oysters. Despite this importance, mangroves ecosystem in the country is now under threat.

The population of Tristao Islands fluctuates between 15,000 and 20,000, depending on the number of fishing camps set up, is sustained by exploitation of natural resources and mangroves. Read more.