On 2 May 2008 cyclone Nargis made landfall in Myanmar, crossing the south of the country during two days and devastated Ayeyarwady Delta region. According to official figures, 84,500 people were killed and 58,800 missing. A total of 37 townships were significantly affected by the cyclone. The UN estimated that as many as 2.4 million people were affected.
Reasons for the massive destruction was that 80% of the traditional mangrove forest on the coastal belts and river banks, are due to prawn and fish farming, rice farming, deforestation for charcoal production and cooking fuel, partly driven by rampant poverty in the area with no alternative livelihood for the poor who are struggling to survive on meagre incomes.
This region with its 6.6 million people is the most exposed a
rea in Myanmar to threats of climate change. This is a flat low lying delta facing the Bay of Bengal, with myriads of waterways and rivers penetrating far into the country.
With no abatement for destructions, as of cyclone Nargis, with extreme weather and sea level rise due to climate change, it could substantially overshadow the damage of Nargis in 2008 for the whole region. For each degree of higher ocean temperature, the velocity of cyclones is estimated to increase by 25%. This will lead to serious consequences if no preventive action is taken in time. Cyclone Phailin that struck India in October in 2013 was the strongest on record (wind speed exceeding 200 KPH) is a frightening confirmation of this fact.
In order to identify practical cost effective options for protective measures while there is still time, Based on two years research on mangrove restoration, it has been concluded that establishment of mangrove climate parks is the most practical step forward in generating capacity and experience towards comprehensive restoration.
This proposal is a follow of the research to compensate for the loss of valuable life saving and sustainable environmental values of mangrove forests. It meets the urgent needs of immediate action as called for by the latest United Nations Climate Panel Report. It meets both the need for mitigation of large amounts of CO2, as well as adaptation to Climate Change in vulnerable coastal areas, protecting lives and properties from expected extreme weather patterns.
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- Mangroves mitigating 3-5 times more CO2 than rainforest trees
- Protecting lives and properties from extreme weather
- Increasing sea food production with up to 50%
- Filtering and cleaning water
- Providing cooling effect and other vital eco services for life on Earth
- Helping disadvantaged in vulnerable coastal communities with sustainable development to overcome poverty
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Mangrove tree(s) in Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park in Myanmar mitigating1 ton per tree documented in the soil and in the biomass.