An urgent challenge in CO2 mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
LIVELIHOODS UNDER THREAT
The livelihood conditions for millions of people in vulnerable coastal areas are in danger with escalating global warming. Dramatic change in weather patterns with more violent storms, hurricanes and cyclones, rising sea levels, tidal waves and other potential calamities are on the rise.
This happens simultaneously with depletion of the protective shield of mangrove forests in tropical coastal areas. In some developing countries, as in Myanmar, up to 80% of mangrove forests have been destroyed in vulnerable areas due to short sighted economic activities in establishing prawn farms, industrial development, alternative land use, charcoal production and firewood collection. For the poorest of the poor, harvesting mangroves have become an additional income for survival. This is a vicious circle, which can only be solved in a pragmatic and practical process.
Local communities have to be empowered with knowledge of mangrove’s life protecting shield and its economic and environmental benefits. Mobilization of people’s participation in replanting, combined with alternative livelihood creation and sustainable forest management, is the answer. Experience has proven that expected results will not materialize by only planting mangroves. It is equally important that plants will be cared for and protected by motivated local communities. Only a comprehensive and well planned programme with adequate capacity at all levels will bring back sustainable mangrove protection at a time with urgent neededs.
Mangrove restoration has the capacity to mitigate large amounts of CO2, with up to five times higher efficiency than rainforest trees, and contribute to increase food security by up to 50% higher yields in fish and prawn resources. Combining environmental support with poverty reduction will double the effect of development efforts. Worldview International Foundation started comprehensive research on mangrove restoration in Myanmar in 2012 in cooperation with Pathein University and Myeik University. This has yielded valuable knowledge and experience to undertake this pilot project as a model for national restoration of mangrove forests in Myanmar in cooperation with Myanmar university partners, local communities, regional and central environmental authorities. This is based on based MOU with Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry and NGO registration with Myanmar Ministry of Home Affairs.
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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.