Fifty percent of the world’s mangroves have disappeared in the past half-century, victims of rising sea levels; oil spills and other pollution; demand for timber; and clearing to make way for shrimp and crab fishing, coastal infrastructure, and urban expansion. Partner with us to preserve our natural and cultural heritage. 1. A moment later, he’s back on his feet with a red mud crab in his hand, its 10 spindly legs kicking in protest. Date Initiated: 1990. In 2010, Dablo’s tireless work earned him WWF-Pakistan’s prestigious annual Syed Asad Ali Conservation Award. By acting now to save these vulnerable habitats, we can build a future where both mangroves and mankind thrive. Mangroves also provide invaluable green economy services for humans. 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. Mangroves protect coastlines against storms, rising seas and tsunamis. He plucks a cord from his belt to deftly bind the crab, and then he’s off again—a member of the local mud crab association, prowling the mangroves for his quarry. 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. View our inclusive approach to conservation. Mangrove Action Project recently announced the winners of its 2020 Mangrove Photography Awards. • Mangroves, and their coastal risk reduction function, can recover in most places where appropriate ecological and social conditions are present or restored. The use of mangroves for fuelwood and fodder for livestock is one of the many reasons their coverage has shrunk in recent decades. In 2007, WWF joined with passionate locals and partner organizations to restore the forest, planting 2 million mangroves over the last decade. careful not to accidentally break or trample mangroves when we enter mangrove forests, or catch resources such as crabs, shrimps or fish. 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. The amount of protection afforded by mangroves depends upon the width of the forest. The Mangrove Act does not distinguish between living and dead mangroves, so the same trimming regulations apply to each. As spawning and nursery grounds for freshwater, brackish, and marine wildlife, these mangrove forests play a crucial role in sustaining the park’s rich diversity. Washington, DC 20037. 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. Mangroves around the world are vanishing at an alarming rate. 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. Today, river water is overused and diverted upstream, reducing sediment and causing the delta to sink—and allowing the salty sea to progress inland and swallow up areas that once yielded plentiful crops. Mangroves look almost alien, with their barnacle-covered roots arching out of the ground to suspend the trees above dense mud and water. Mangrove forests cover just 0.5 percent of the world's coasts but account for an estimated 10-15 percent of … It is one of approximately 50 associations that have signed agreements with the Ecuadorian government to protect the mangroves. Around 2.5 million trees are protected through Mikoko Pamjoa along with a second program it inspired called Vanga Blue Forest. 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. It is one of approximately 50 associations that have signed agreements with the Ecuadorian government to protect the mangroves. Victor Hugo Luja Molina won the competition with an image titled Once Again Being a Mother, which shows a female jaguar in an intimate moment with her cub in a mangrove forest in Mexico.. 26.7 million tons of carbon sequestered through WILDCOAST’s mangrove conservation efforts. They maintain water quality and clarity, filtering pollutants and trapping sediments originating from land. As WWF’S Lauren Spurrier watches, her Ecuadorian guide kneels and plunges his arm into a deep hole. Water. 325 miles of shoreline near Bahia Magdalena's mangroves protected … Back when freshwater was abundant, local farmers grew red rice, bananas, coconuts, and melons to sell in local and international markets. 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. Photo: IUCN. 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. The struggle to save mangroves like these in Ecuador is a global challenge that no single government or organization can tackle alone. 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. 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. Mangrove cover here has decreased significantly as a result of pollution, wood harvesting for fuel and camel fodder, and a lack of freshwater feeding into the delta. 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. Mangrove forests are important because they: protect coastlines against erosive wave action and strong coastal winds, and serve as natural barriers against tsunamis and torrential storms. World Wildlife Fund Inc. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax ID number 52-1693387) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Despite the benefits worth an estimated US$33-57,000 per hectare, mangroves are being degraded, lost, or poorly restored at an alarming rate (UNEP, 2014). Mustika Minanusa Aurora (PT. Last year, the Pakistan Navy launched an effort to plant a million more. Mangroves have (carbon) hoarding issues. Outfitted with a rain hat, rubber boots, and gloves, Ana Granja traipses through the mud alongside other women from her community, singing as they scour a mangrove swamp for small, black clams called piangua. Together, they have rehabilitated nearly 50 acres of mangroves in a reservation park, and more than 16 acres of mangroves around the shrimp farms. Mangrove forests protect uplands from storm winds, waves and floods. But it’s not all white sand beaches and lush forests; man-made earthen ponds brimming with shrimp also dot Indonesia’s shores, many of them in vast grids that sprawl for millions of acres. Despite this hardiness, mangroves cannot withstand cold temperatures and can only be found in These coastal forests provide vital services to humans and wildlife, but mangroves are threatened throughout the world and disappearing at an alarming rate. 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 … Preserving mangroves may be one in a portfolio of strategies to help corals survive the effects of climate change. In August 2017, PT. 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. This is just the beginning. MMA since 2006 to achieve this certification. What is a mangrove? 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. It is part of a Hong Kong success story, albeit a limited one. We can also protect mangroves by keeping the mangrove forests and surrounding waterways free of pollution and chemicals. Royal Bengal Tiger But mangroves are at risk of vanishing forever. 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. Given their natural ecological roles and their various human beneficial products, mangroves are a powerhouse resource that needs to be protected and managed. 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. In places like this stretch of Ecuadorian coast near the city of Guayaquil, losing the mangroves would portend the loss of the mud crabs—the primary source of income for some local fishing communities—and have a severe impact on surrounding ecosystems as well. And with rising ocean temperatures have come shifting weather patterns that have made fishing on the open sea increasingly difficult. 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. This was corroborated by V. Selvam, former lead researcher on mangroves at the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (), Chennai.“I used to live in … Mangroves protect shorelines from erosion. With more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia has the second-longest coastline in the world—behind only Canada. Between 1990 and 2010, Madagascar lost 21% of its mangroves. 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. 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. 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. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. 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. That’s why WWF-Indonesia is dedicated to helping the nation’s shrimp industry adopt a more environmentally responsible approach. 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). Nearly 100,000 acres of mangroves remain outside the park’s borders. By acting now to save these vulnerable habitats, we can build a future where both mangroves and mankind thrive. Section 4. 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. 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. These mangroves provide vital ecosystem services, serve as tourism and educational spots, and support the growth of mud crab. Recent destruction of firefly habitats initiated the creation of Congregating Firefly Zones (CFZs) in an effort to protect these unique and beautiful insects. WWF is working with local communities along the coast to reverse that trend. 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. 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. retain, concentrate and recycle nutrients and remove toxicants through a natural filtering process. The United Nations Environment Program reported in 2014 that mangroves are being … Altogether, WWF has partnered with fishers in Pakistan to rehabilitate 21,498 acres of mangrove forest and has worked with the government to plant an additional 1.4 million mangrove trees. 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”. To conserve mangroves should involve of the locals. For the past eight years, WWF-Malaysia has been working with the Taritipan Youth Club in Kota Marudu to raise awareness of the importance of mangroves. These coastal forests provide vital services to humans and wildlife, but mangroves are threatened throughout the world and disappearing at an alarming rate. These water diversions alter the natural flow of water that maintains the health of surrounding mangroves as well as ecosystems farther inland and offshore. For $10/month, get World Wildlife in print, 1250 24th Street, N.W. Locals like Granja know the value of this vulnerable ecosystem. There are also winners from five other categories highlighting … prevent salt water from intruding into rivers. 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. The Global Mangrove Alliance hopes to turn the tide. Smithsonian Is Working to Protect Endangered Mangroves Around the World. He gave the example of coastlines that had “extensive, full" mangroves resulting in inland areas being protected significantly from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. His father flew to Lahore to accept the award on his behalf—the first Tippan villager ever to travel by plane—and returned home beaming proudly and eager to share tales of the big city. First, to the north, a regional integrated management district named Encanto de los Manglares del Bajo Baudó was declared to protect more than 770,000 acres of beaches, mangroves, and corals. MMA’s supply chain fully support their efforts on behalf of environmental sustainability. Here are some highlights. The seedlings he planted a decade ago are now six feet high and cover more than 1,200 acres. MMA), is leading the way toward more improvements. Mangroves protect shorelines from damaging storm and hurricane winds, waves, and floods. Mangroves and the wider blue economy. That’s why WWF recently joined with Conservation International, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, The Nature Conservancy, and Wetlands International to establish the Global Mangrove Alliance. The mangrove trees often glow as though strung with Christmas tree lights. Nearly half of Indonesia’s mangroves have been cleared in the past three decades, many to make way for shrimp farms. Mangroves are very important as they provide resources (such as crabs, shrimp, fish and (ii) Flood Protection Wetlands reduce the effect of floods on coastal areas by acting as a sponge and slowing down flood waters as in the case of coastal marshlands. A Brazilian court blocked government's move to revoke key regulations protecting the country's tropical mangroves after the move was fiercely criticized by environmental and climate groups. Together, the organizations seek to partner with stakeholders and governments around the world to increase mangrove habitat by 20% by 2030. Places where mangroves have been cut down for shrimp farms are far more vulnerable to destructive cyclones and tidal waves. Like Ana Granja and her sister clam diggers in Sanquianga, the residents of these newly created districts continue to benefit from the mangroves, wetlands, and coastlines that have sustained their people for generations. Foreign buyers and other key players throughout PT. 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. 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. to be protected and restored, allowing wise use where possible. Tweet This Mangroves protect coral reefs from sedimentation, sequester massive amounts of carbon to combat climate change, adapt to rising sea levels, serve as nurseries in a vital food source for marine life while providing critical habitat for endangered species. Mangroves provide food and habitat for a diverse range of species, including the proboscis monkey. Mangroves reinforce shorelines and store huge quantities of carbon, so protecting them is an effective climate strategy. Mangroves also help prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled root systems. Then, a national integrated management district called Cabo Manglares, Bajo Mira y Frontera was created, ensuring the conservation of roughly 470,000 acres of coastal wetlands (including deep water ecosystems and more than 16,000 acres of mangroves) and the connectivity of coastal ecosystems between Colombia and neighboring Ecuador. Coastal wetlands protect the shoreline from erosion by acting as a buffer against wave action as in the case of coastal mangroves. 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. The company’s ASC certification already appears to be good for business. Around 500 mangroves in Volusia County were cut well below the height mandated by state guidelines, forcing the state to get involved to figure out how and why it happened. 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