In Martinique, preserving biodiversity through mangroves: a nature-based solution

In Martinique, reconciling biodiversity preservation and economic activities is possible thanks to the extension of the mangrove, which will protect the coastline from natural disasters and hazards related to climate change.
The mission

Reducing the port’s vulnerability to rising sea levels and the increased intensity and frequency of storms.

Near the Étang Z’Abricots marina, and more precisely at the Pointe des Sables, the mangrove has an essential role: it shelters fish, absorbs CO2 to limit climate change, and is a larder to feed fauna and humans... A true ally indispensable to the preservation of our ecosystems.

Nevertheless, the area remains vulnerable: 18 cyclones have hit Martinique since 1950, 7 of them have directly affected the island. Alongside the Communauté d'agglomération du Centre de la Martinique (CACEM) and scientists, the SUEZ Consulting teams are designing a resilient solution to sustainably reduce the vulnerability of the Étang Z'Abricots marina to climate change*.

5,172 Hectares
of mangroves in the French West Indies / Source: ROM, 2020
+30 to 110 cm
The predicted rise in sea level by the end of the 21st century / Source: IPCC 2021
The minimum air temperature for mangroves to thrive

* This trial is part of the LIFE Integrated Project ARTISAN, “Achieving Resiliency by Triggering Implementation of nature-based Solutions for climate Adaptation at a National scale”, supported by the European Union and coordinated by the French Office for Biodiversity.

Our solution

Our teams aim to demonstrate that nature-based solutions reconcile biodiversity preservation and economic activities. The project consists in extending the mangrove on a sandy point located at the entrance of the harbor. This will provide a natural and resilient barrier to protect the marina.

A three-step approach was developed:

  • Installing a lightweight, reversible structure consisting largely of wooden piles
  • Natural deposit of sediment, raising the level of the sea floor
  • Free development of the mangroves already present at the site

What is a nature-based solution?

Nature-based solutions are defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as "actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems to directly address societal challenges in an effective and adaptive manner, while ensuring human well-being and producing benefits for biodiversity".