Mangrove plantation and environmental education in Benin


During this mission you will have the opportunity to contribute to a mangrove reforestation program Ahémé Lake and Avloh and Benin and environmental education. This program is led by a local NGO and integrates the local population so as to enable them to develop sustainable economic activity.

DUREE : 15 days minimum

DATES : November to April

ACTIVITY : Wilderness

SPECIES : mangroves, mangroves



INVOLVEMENT : 5 days a week, 8 hours per day

PUBLIC : any public over 18 years, individuals, eco-solidarity holidays, students,

STUDY COURSES : not accepted


The Ahémé Lake region is an area of ​​diet and rest for many migratory waterbirds most of which have great potential for ecotourism. This is the region that hosts the largest number of tourists in southern Benin, representing an economic lever which tends to offset lower revenues related to local fisheries.

The shores of Lake Ahémé experiencing strong erosion favored by human activity (Agriculture, canoe building, deforestation ...). The latter has the direct consequence silting of water and thus an unprecedented decrease in fish productivity of the lake, forcing unemployed a large segment of the population. Pending a possible dredging of the lake, it is urgent to promote insertion of the fishermen, tourism is one of the most viable solutions would rapidly reduce poverty of the inhabitants of this region because now the local people are too little involved local tourism.

The project was set up at Lake Ahémé an ecotourism program that today allows to receive on average 60 tourists per month. They are greeted by the villagers, who can earn additional income to their fishing activities.

To contribute to the compensation of CO2 emissions caused by tourist development of this region, it was initiated a mangrove planting action. This solution is considered the best alternative because of the resistance of this plant and its contribution to the restoration of the fish fauna of the lake (which remains the primary source of income for communities along the Lake Ahémé).

This mission is also interested in the district of Avloh, which also has a system of mangroves. The mouth of Roy is a very important stopover site for Sternidae such as the roseate whalers (Sterna balaenarum). These migratory birds are a very good bio-indicator of ecosystem health Avlo and Grand-Popo in general. The need to preserve the mangrove ecosystem are therefore very important because it is a nesting area for migratory birds.

Since 2009, the NGO started to plant mangroves at Lac Ahémé. This operation is directed locally by members of the NGO and local people from the village of Kpétou. Despite some difficulties with planting techniques and flooding encountered initially, methods nursery and transplantation are now well advanced.

The restoration of mangrove formations will restore fish habitat and participate in better protection of the lake Ahémé banks.

The host project is a Beninese NGO whose mission is to promote human development at the local and national level through the development and enhancement of natural resources for ecotourism and eco-development.

The eco-volunteers participating in this mission will be integrated into a local working team, consisting of villagers bordering Lake Ahémé, and members of the NGO Benin. They contribute to different stages of the process of planting of mangroves: the collection of propagules and nursery setting for planting mangroves. Alongside members of local environmental clubs. They also participate in educational and pedagogical work with local people on the need to protect the mangroves.

Location / Habitat

The project area covers the municipalities of Comé, Bopa and Kpomassè in the Ramsar site 1017. It directly concerns the riverside communities of Lake Ahémé namely Kpétou (Department of Mono, Como City and Borough of Agatogbo) Dégoué (Department of Mono, Como City and Borough of Akodéha); and the district of Avlo (common Frand Popo).

The area of ​​the lake varies from about 85 Ahémé km² at low water to 126 km² in the flood. The head of Lake wetlands (lower valley Couffo) extend almost 40 km². All Lake lake-head swamps has a total length of 35 km and an average width of 3,6 km (maximum 5,5 km). The southern boundary of Lake Ahémé blends into the flood zone of the coastal region through the channel Aho. This channel flowing into the western part of the coastal lagoon communicates with the sea.

The borough Avlo also consists of a mangrove ecosystem. It is located in the town Grand Popo, and houses the Roy mouth site that hosts hundreds of Sternidae each year.


The area has a relatively low relief dominated by a zone of clay and sand plains and areas of flood peneplains. The average temperature hovers around 27,3 ° C with a minimum of 22 ° C in March. The average relative humidity is lower at 13 h and oscillates around 60%. Rainfall varies between 900 and 1100 mm per year.

equatorial climate with high humidity. dry season from November to March and from mid-July to mid-September. Rainy season from April to mid-July and mid-September to October.

For more information on local weather conditions


Two mangrove species exist Ahémé lake, it is Rhizophora racemosa and Avicennia africana. These two species are selected for mangrove restoration activities. The local origin of these species avoids any exotic introduction that could disrupt local ecosystems.

The bird life is very rich in the area due to the existence of numerous wetlands in particular where one meets water ducks, moorhens, herons ... The fish fauna Lake Ahémé is quite varied with 71 recorded species of fish or 67% of the fish fauna of wetlands in southern Benin.

At the reptilian faunaFour categories were identified: crocodiles, lizards, turtles and snakes. From primates, Vervet monkeys and Monas account for most of the race. They occupy the sacred relics forests and forests west of Lake Ahémé and are scattered throughout the villages.

Involvement ecovolunteer

The eco-volunteers will be actively involved in planting and sensitization of local actors and monitoring of plantations.

  • They will participate in the collection of propagules (seedlings) collected in the pockets of existing mangroves in some localities of Lake Ahémé

  • They will participate in the development of propagules nursery (seedlings) that are placed in an area including the essential nutrients in their growth and then stored in nurseries at least six months depending on the stage of evolution which they are harvested.

  • They will participate in the transplantation of young mangroves in the required areas;

  • They will participate in the monitoring of planting areas with smallholders organized in pairs

  • They will go to the meeting of communities to obtain a voluntary and spontaneous participation of the people for the implementation of activities, and thus an improvement in their vis-à-vis behavior of mangrove.

  • They will accompany the club environment and eco-guides in the development of protection activities.

  • They will develop educational materials (posters) explaining the role the mangroves on water quality and reducing pollution.

  • They will realize multimedia campaigns in schools and communities (film screening, photos).


This mission does not accept trainees.

Requirements and constraints

To participate in this mission:

  • You must be between 18 and 65 years, and a good physical condition (you must walk several kilometers a day and move on a motorcycle).

  • Motorcycles transfers are made on the back of local guide.

  • This project requires work skills in wetlands with the possibility of using canoes or small boats.

  • The mission does not require any particular skill but it is advisable to ecovolunteers to document and have some understanding of mangrove and wetland management. It is also useful to have skills in communication and education.

  • During the mission, the consumption of alcohol and drugs is strictly prohibited. Women should also always wear covering clothing.

Before you register:

  • It is important to take detailed documentation for download (see right of this text).
  • You will need to return the medical fitness form (attached to the detailed documentation) completed and signed by you and your attending physician.
  • You must send us a CV and a motivation letter (by email This e-mail address is protected against spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Language (s) used (s)


Conditions for minors

Minors are not accepted.


Day 1: Departure from the Cotonou International Airport for the hotel (located in Cotonou), meeting of the project staff and cultural immersion course,

2 day: cultural immersion session, coaching and training in the morning. Departure in the afternoon for the accommodation,

3 13 day to day: planting and outreach work and other activities / Scheduled Tasks,

14 day: Back in Cotonou restitution and synthesis of the mission,

15 Day: Departure of the Cotonou International Airport for the country.


The first night you will stay in Cotonou in a hotel or a guest house with comfortable rooms with bathroom. In the area of ​​Lake Ahémé, you will stay in an eco-cottage located 85 km from Cotonou. The rooms have toilets and dry toilets. Depending on the number of participating ecovolunteers you may be asked to share a room with another person. The eco-volunteers are responsible for cleaning their room and to collect their water for showers (bucket).

The eco-volunteers will take their food at local restaurant (included). At noon a simple picnic can be arranged, for practical issues. It is possible to provide meals for those with special diet, these will however report before departure.


12 maximum ecovolunteers.


Registrations are possible from November 2021.

The ecovolunteers choose their dates of participation, subject to acceptance by the reception team. Volunteers can be welcomed between November and April.


Due to the pandemic, Cybelle Planète has set up specific conditions for participation. Please consult our conditions of participation before signing up for a mission.

See information related to Covid-19

Travel Information

You organize your trip to the airport in Cotonou (Benin). On arrival a project member will greet you at the airport. After a first night in Cotonou you reach the work area (about 80 km from Cotonou).


Your eco-volunteering mission involves your voluntary participation in the project as well as your biodiversity donation. For each mission, the amount of the Biodiversity Donation is calculated according to the needs of the project and the time you will spend there. 70% of your donation is donated to the hosting project, it will largely be used to cover its material and personnel needs for its sustainability, and also to cover the hosting costs of eco-volunteers. learn more about Don Biodiversity

The costs of the ecovolunteers' missions consist of : your biodiversity donation and your membership in the mission, and non-tax deductible costs (ex: insurance, additional heating costs, over-classification of your accommodation - if offered)

Compensation for the impact of your trip

Cybelle planet pledges to reduceimpact of long-haul flights on the environment. In order to offset greenhouse gas emissions and the impact of your trip, Cybelle Planète has set up specific measures :

  • We no longer accept entries of less than two weeks involving long-haul travel.
  • Flat-rate contribution of 200 € to a territorial and carbon compensation fund for missions of less than 3 weeks.

We consider that a stay of at least 3 weeks, during which you have a positive action for local biodiversity (ex: eco-volunteering mission), and where you adopt a responsible mode of travel, partially offsets your emissions at the regional level. 

Amount of Don Biodiversity

  • 2 weeks of participation: 1200 €
  • 3 weeks of participation: 1260 €
  • Each additional week: 260 €

tax deduction : For individuals, participation entitles you to a tax deduction of 66%. So a donation of 1200 € will only cost you 408 €.

For companies, the participation of your employees entitles you to a tax deduction of 60%. So a donation of 1200 € will only cost you 480 €.

Annual fee

Cybelle Planète is a French law association 1901, ecovolunteer stays are reserved for members who are members of their annual subscription of 50 €. This membership automatically gives you access to insurance (including liability, repatriation, medical expenses). Membership in Cybelle Planète is subject to a tax receipt. Learn more about memberships

Your budget

The hosting project supports:

  • accommodation and food,
  • supervision by members of the project,
  • your transfer from the airport A / R,

You remain at your expense:

  • your trip to Benin,
  • expenses incurred (drinks, restaurant, ....) that remain at your expense,
  • your complementary travel insurance (mandatory), including a Cancellation, Air / Train Delay, Baggage, Interruption of Stay.

Travel arrangements

You must organize your own trip to the project: transport, visa, vaccinations if necessary, ....

You will find on our website information concerning visas.

Cybelle Planet can arrange for you to book your airline ticketsThis service is optional.

Conditions of participation

The general conditions of participation in eco-volunteering mission from Cybelle Planet are available online.

Commitment ecovolunteer

Before committing yourself as a Volunteer, you must have read and accepted the charter of ecovolunteers.


In addition to the insurance included in your membership, you must take out cancellation insurance, loss or damage to luggage, and flight delay. Cybelle Planète will offer you insurance during your pre-registration or you can subscribe one by yourself. A certificate of insurance will be required before departure. To learn more about insurance

ethical commitments Cybelle Planète

The Cybelle Planet associationcommitted to the ecovolunteering charter. We have always chosen sharing, equity and solidarity for all our actions.

Tax deduction

Participation in our eco-volunteering mission is reserved for our "support" members.

Ecovolunteers pay Cybelle Planète a Biodiversity Donation in addition to their commitment in the field. 

Only the Biodiversity Gift and membership entitles you to a tax deduction (For companies or persons subject to corporation tax or income tax in France).

Medical fitness form

Your registration can not be validated unless we have received your medical fitness form completed and signed by you and your attending physician.

In order to avoid possible difficulties, we ask you to describe to us, as honestly as possible, your physical and emotional state.
Regardless of the medical situation, all projects are designed to accept as many participants as possible. For this reason, they remain attentive and are very understanding of the various health problems a candidate may have. All solutions are considered to enable the candidate to participate in the project, regardless of his or her state of health, and to the extent possible.
The consequences of misleading and / or omitted medical declarations can be very restrictive for the entire team involved in the mission, and in some cases dangerous (missions on the high seas, in very isolated sites, etc.). So, Any false declaration, omission or false information may be sanctioned by the immediate and definitive exclusion of the participant At its own expense and upon the exclusive and unilateral decision of the project. 

Download the form for a francophone mission

Download the form for an English speaking mission


An ECOVOLONTAIRE T-shirt is offered for any registration to an ecovolunteer mission.

Note that no resumption or exchange is possible, we invite you to consult the description and the size guide .

Testimonials for this mission ecovolunteers