The mangrove ecosystem is one of the most productive in Casamance and the most important biomes in Senegal. This threatened ecosystem is found on the banks of Casamance river and along its tributaries, known as the bolong (Inlets, sills). The importance of the mangrove ecosystem results from its biodiversity and its ecological, economic and socio-cultural (ritual places, totem cockpit, etc.) functions. The Lower Casamance mangroves are the site of diverse traditional representations and activities of the Jola society, including prohibitions on the cutting of mangrove and seasonal restrictions on the harvesting of oyster and restricted access. The methodology used is a combination of qualitative approaches (semi-structured interviews informal and individual groups, field observations) and quantitative. Thus, the results of the research show that the mangrove areas associated with these practices are considered sacred and governed by very strict and traditional rules. These practices jola life are animated by various representations that crystallize their behaviors in totems, taboos, rituals and the sacredness of natural spaces. However, with the adoption of monotheistic religions (Islam and Christianity), certain prohibitions and beliefs that have preserved these spaces are disappearing and the mangrove is deteriorating. Therefore, traditional methods of in situ conservation must be preserved in order to ensure the protection of mangrove ecosystems. This article highlights the importance of jola customs and practices and reviews traditional methods that have favored the conservation of parts of the mangrove.
Keywords: Jola Civilisation, Management, Mangrove