Indonesia’s vast mangrove forests, CIFOR has recently discovered, are a valuable carbon sink. They shelter unique species, protect coastlines from stormy seas – and they are fast disappearing. Conservationists would see them protected from the logger’s chainsaw. But it’s possible that selective and sustainable logging of these forests can be done while retaining much of their carbon – and save them from worse fates.
Valuable mangrove forests that protect coastlines, sustain sealife and help slow climate change are being wrecked by the spread of shrimp and fish farms, a U.N.-backed study showed on Wednesday. About a fifth of mangroves worldwide have been lost since 1980, mostly because of clearance to make way for the farms which often get choked with waste, antibiotics and fertilisers, according to the study. Read more: http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/mangroves-under-threat-from-shrimp-fa...
Found mostly in the tropics straddling the land and sea, mangroves make up less than half of one percent of forests of all kinds worldwide. Taken together, some 70 species of mangroves are found in 123 tropical and sub-tropical nations and territories but occupy just 152,000 square km in total -- an area slightly larger than Nepal. Experts are urging policy makers to preserve mangroves and their essential services to nature and humanity alike, saying their replacement with shrimp farms and other forms of development is a bad economic tradeoff both short and long-term.
IUCN Pakistan is in the process of negotiating with Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Limited (PIBT) an initiative focused on mangrove restoration and planting in Korangi Phitti Creek System near Port Qasim, Karachi. IUCN began its efforts to restore degraded mangroves forests in Pakistan in the early nineties and these efforts are still ongoing. For several years restoration was carried out in Sindh and Balochistan and over 30,000 hectares have been restored and restocked.
Mangroves, it must be said, do not get their dues. The tangled, swampy growths of trees and plants that line humid coastlines support thousands of communities worldwide. For the Indian and Bangladeshi residents of the Sundarbans, they provide food, building materials and medicine, while acting as a giant coastal defence from tropical storms for the Bimini Islands off the coast of Florida. And, while they amount to less than 0.1 per cent of the Earth’s total land surface area, they also act as giant carbon sinks, sending one tenth of all land-derived organic carbon into the ocean.