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Published June 30, 2021 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Transforming Freetown: Coastal Resilience and Community- Ecosystem Based Practices

  • 1. Independent Researcher, Athens, Greece, and Buenos Aires, Argentina

Description

The wider coastal areas of Freetown in Sierra Leone are suffering mangrove degradation,and clearance around the capital has greatly reduced the ability of these wetlands to
protect sections of the city from seasonal flooding, which regularly affects different parts
of the coast, causing a loss of livelihoods and destruction of property. The coast can be
seen as the dynamic frontier of the city, mainly through human settlement expansion
due to lack of housing in other formal areas, resulting in the land reclamation practice
known as ‘banking’, without an acknowledgement of the importance of the socioecological
services provided by the mangroves located in the wetlands. By investigating
collective experiences in terms of risk exposure and resilience-seeking practices, the
scope of this manuscript is on the sociological relevance that the inhabitants of these
risk-prone areas are given across the conservation and urbanization plans for Freetown
and through an understanding of their vulnerabilities due to lack of formal planning and
the relation of their livelihoods with the ecosystem services provided by the mangroves
on the wetlands.

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