• Mangroves, and their coastal risk reduction function, can recover in most places where appropriate ecological and social conditions are present or restored. The loss of farmland and the threat of coastal flooding make it more important than ever to restore the mangrove ecosystem, which provides a natural barrier against the sea and rich biodiversity that directly sustains the livelihoods of 200,000 people. These water diversions alter the natural flow of water that maintains the health of surrounding mangroves as well as ecosystems farther inland and offshore. Recent destruction of firefly habitats initiated the creation of Congregating Firefly Zones (CFZs) in an effort to protect these unique and beautiful insects. The United Nations Environment Program reported in 2014 that mangroves are being … Here are some highlights. Despite this hardiness, mangroves cannot withstand cold temperatures and can only be found in The seedlings he planted a decade ago are now six feet high and cover more than 1,200 acres. to be protected and restored, allowing wise use where possible. A moment later, he’s back on his feet with a red mud crab in his hand, its 10 spindly legs kicking in protest. The budding conservationists are trained to patrol and monitor the nearby Kudat and Marudu Bay Mangrove Forest Reserve, one of several sites WWF uses to demonstrate the benefits that marine protected areas offer local communities. At the same time mangroves reduce loss of property and vulnerability of local communities. We can also protect mangroves by keeping the mangrove forests and surrounding waterways free of pollution and chemicals. Mangrove Action Project recently announced the winners of its 2020 Mangrove Photography Awards. *“Mangrove,” is one of five films from the “Small Axe” anthology by Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”). These coastal forests provide vital services to humans and wildlife, but mangroves are threatened throughout the world and disappearing at an alarming rate. It is one of approximately 50 associations that have signed agreements with the Ecuadorian government to protect the mangroves. WWF has helped create better management practices for small-scale shrimp farms in Indonesia. Mangroves also help prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled root systems. Diverting water can harm mangroves by preventing their seeds from being dispersed via seawater, and it can kill the trees by cutting off freshwater supplies. But these otherworldly forests on stilts are in fact one of Earth’s most critical ecosystems, buffering coasts from storm surges, serving as vital habitat for untold marine species, and providing food and livelihoods for local communities. Smithsonian science is laying the groundwork for mangrove conservation by documenting the critical services that mangroves provide and by examining how human activities are affecting the functioning of these ecosystems. The amount of protection afforded by mangroves depends upon the width of the forest. For more than two decades, Smithsonian Scientists have studying the effects of human development, industry, climate change, and aquaculture on these tropical coastal ecosystems. Every day, Ayub Dablo emerges from his thatched hut in Tippan village in the Indus River Delta of Pakistan to survey the thick jungle of mangrove trees that stands before his home. Through collaboration with international governments and other conservation organizations, Smithsonian research is working to ensure that mangroves continue to support diverse forms of coastal life in years to come. With WWF-Colombia and other organizations, the Colombian government is working to effectively manage and expand the country’s system of protected areas like this one. A very narrow fringe of mangroves offers limited protection, while a wide fringe can considerably reduce wave and flood damage to landward areas by enabling overflowing water to be absorbed into the expanse of forest. Tweet This Preserving mangroves may be one in a portfolio of strategies to help corals survive the effects of climate change. The Global Mangrove Alliance hopes to turn the tide. With their dense network of roots and … To conserve mangroves should involve of the locals. For the sake of Tun Mustapha—and the many communities that depend on its natural resources—WWF is working to extend the park’s boundaries to include the surrounding mangroves. This shift in occupations is an inspiring example of climate adaptation, but the long-term success of Razeny and his neighbors depends on the survival of the mangroves. It is part of a Hong Kong success story, albeit a limited one. Traditional communities within both areas will still be permitted to sustainably harvest natural resources such as the piangua. Protected by the Mai Po Nature Reserve, this mangrove forest and the surrounding mudflats has been designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention since 1995. Partner with us to preserve our natural and cultural heritage. A protracted drought in Madagascar has forced inland communities to the coast, putting more strain on marine life already hit hard by overfishing and the decline of the coral reefs. With more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia has the second-longest coastline in the world—behind only Canada. The use of mangroves for fuelwood and fodder for livestock is one of the many reasons their coverage has shrunk in recent decades. Given their natural ecological roles and their various human beneficial products, mangroves are a powerhouse resource that needs to be protected and managed. As WWF’S Lauren Spurrier watches, her Ecuadorian guide kneels and plunges his arm into a deep hole. View our inclusive approach to conservation. Mangrove forests cover just 0.5 percent of the world's coasts but account for an estimated 10-15 percent of … Photo: IUCN. Section 4. The piangua found here in Sanquianga National Park, a 197,000-acre protected area that includes 105,700 acres of mangroves, are a crucial source of income for more than 125 communities along Colombia’s Pacific coast. Back when freshwater was abundant, local farmers grew red rice, bananas, coconuts, and melons to sell in local and international markets. It is one of approximately 50 associations that have signed agreements with the Ecuadorian government to protect the mangroves. By acting now to save these vulnerable habitats, we can build a future where both mangroves and mankind thrive. Mangroves are very important as they provide resources (such as crabs, shrimp, fish and Foreign buyers and other key players throughout PT. Today, the forest is teeming with life, and the distinct calls of king birds, whistling ducks, and birds of paradise once again fill the air. Mangroves protect shorelines from erosion. This is just the beginning. Razafindrajery (or “Razeny,” as he’s affectionately called by his neighbors) still takes his boat out every morning to try his luck, but afterward he treks into the mangrove forests to work a second job: beekeeping. As a life support system for marine species, mangroves are a critical component of the marine and coastal environment that contributes significantly to food security. Back in 2004, satellite images of the delta showed a once-lush landscape stripped bare, decimated by years of converting forest to rice paddies and cutting wood for building materials, charcoal, and firewood. The 1996 Mangrove Trimming and Preservation Act defines a mangrove as any specimen of the species Laguncularia racemosa (white mangrove), Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove) or Avicennia germinans (black mangrove). WWF has been working with PT. For René Razafindrajery, a fisherman and father of five who lives on Madagascar’s west coast, the changing climate has brought a change in career. And while mangroves cover only 0.1% of Earth’s land surface, they are one of our most powerful tools in the fight against climate change, storing more carbon per hectare than any other type of forest. Smithsonian Is Working to Protect Endangered Mangroves Around the World. The mangrove biome, or mangal, is a distinct saline woodland or shrubland habitat characterized by depositional coastal environments, where fine sediments (often with high organic content) collect in areas protected from high-energy wave action. The project will protect all 21,782 acres (8,815 hectares) of Sri Lanka’s existing mangrove forests by providing alternative job training and microloans to approximately 12,000 impoverished women who live in 1,500 small communities adjacent to the nation’s mangrove forests. Candy Feller is an insect and plant ecologist studying the effects of extra nutrients from fertilizer run-off on mangrove systems over time. WWF is working with local communities along the coast to reverse that trend. But mangroves are at risk of vanishing forever. MMA), is leading the way toward more improvements. MMA’s supply chain fully support their efforts on behalf of environmental sustainability. And now, with technical support from WWF, one of the country’s most influential shrimp processing companies, PT. MMA became the first shrimp processor in Indonesia to register its supplier farms (traditional small-scale shrimp farming) and receive the rigorous Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification. In 2007, WWF joined with passionate locals and partner organizations to restore the forest, planting 2 million mangroves over the last decade. In August 2017, PT. He gave the example of coastlines that had “extensive, full" mangroves resulting in inland areas being protected significantly from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Mangroves provide food and habitat for a diverse range of species, including the proboscis monkey. retain, concentrate and recycle nutrients and remove toxicants through a natural filtering process. Blue carbon ecosystems (mangroves, sea grasses and salt marshes) can be up to 10 times more efficient than terrestrial ecosystems at absorbing and storing carbon long term, making them a critical solution in the fight against climate change. Mangroves look almost alien, with their barnacle-covered roots arching out of the ground to suspend the trees above dense mud and water. Endangered Species Associated with Mangroves The IUCN Red List of Endangered Species lists most flora and fauna into seven categories ranging from “Least Concern” to “Extinct”. Nearly half of Indonesia’s mangroves have been cleared in the past three decades, many to make way for shrimp farms. Mangrove forests protect uplands from storm winds, waves and floods. These demonstration sites, coupled with technical support and public awareness efforts led by WWF-Malaysia, Sabah Parks, and partners, helped pave the way for the creation of Tun Mustapha Park in 2016. Mangroves reinforce shorelines and store huge quantities of carbon, so protecting them is an effective climate strategy. Achieving that goal will depend on work in places like Guayaquil, where Spurrier, WWF’s senior director for oceans, is meeting with the local mud crab association. And other farmers are following in their footsteps—an auspicious sign for the long-term health and well-being of local communities and mangrove forests. Office of International Relations 1100 Jefferson Dr. SWWashington, DC 20013, 35% of mangroves have disappeared since the mid-1980s, 30+ sites worldwide where Smithsonian monitors mangrove ecosystems, Working with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival (SSC) Mangrove Specialist Group, Smithsonian is sharing mangrove knowledge and developing conservation plans, Key findings show that changes in nutrient availability in coastal ecosystems can change the biodiversity of plants living there, which can diminish the ability of the ecosystem to store carbon and provide other critical services, By comparing data from more than 22 sites around the world, researchers are able to provide powerful hypotheses about how climate change is affecting mangroves and suggest ways to mitigate these effects and protect mangrove ecosystems, Subscribe to Smithsonian Global on YouTube. Mangroves also provide invaluable green economy services for humans. Together, they have rehabilitated nearly 50 acres of mangroves in a reservation park, and more than 16 acres of mangroves around the shrimp farms. This year, the club wants to establish a new conservation area inside the Kudat and Marudu forest reserve, in the hopes that better management of the mangrove forests will help boost the local economy. Together, the organizations seek to partner with stakeholders and governments around the world to increase mangrove habitat by 20% by 2030.
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