Communities that conserve, restore and sustainably exploit mangroves depend on the fair marketing of their products. Mundo Manglar is a strategy that seeks to connect local products with responsible consumer markets – a particularly relevant proposal in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on the local economy.
In the context of the COVID-19 health contingency, the need to promote consumption in fairer markets, favoring local economies and projects based on the sustainable use of our ecosystems, has been highlighted. Mundo Manglar is a promotional initiative led by Pronatura Veracruz A.C. to sensitize the market to the importance of mangroves and the environmental services they provide. The responsible consumption of products such as wood, charcoal, and honey contributes to the conservation of biodiversity and boosts local economies, especially in the face of the global health contingency.
The project “Restoration of the mangrove landscape; an opportunity for social development at the RAMSAR Sistema Laguna de Alvarado site in Veracruz, Mexico” (financed by Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, BMU, within the IKI initiative) aims to generate a long-term strategy for mangrove restoration, which simultaneously lays the foundation for sustainable use and commercialization in fair markets.
Local livelihoods that depend directly on mangroves have been heavily impacted by the health contingency. Activities such as fishing or the production of charcoal, wood, and mangrove honey are linked with other economic sectors that are currently detained or restricted – such as tourism and local food consumption.
The health emergency requires a response that can mitigate direct impacts and, in turn, create opportunities to strengthen projects in the face of the medium-term repercussions. Analyzing the value chains in the face of the pandemic allows us to identify implications and specific actions to move forwards with the commercialization of mangrove products.
In this context, the Mundo Manglar website and campaign takes on more relevance and also faces important challenges. It must enable effective digital sales and delivery systems, considering the communities’ limited access to digital media. On the other hand, we must sensitize the market to maintain and increase the consumption of products with fair prices, both during the contingency and the medium-term repercussions of COVID-19.