Mangrove Conservation & Restoration
The winning poster (pictured right) from the Fifteenth Meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) discusses the importance of Mangrove Restoration for endangered species and humans. This winning poster was created by
Fiona Wilmot. VIEW FULL SIZE POSTER (pdf 6 MB)
MAP's Holistic Approach to Mangrove Restoration
based on ecological mangrove principles;
involving local stakeholders in planning, implementation, and monitoring;
working with (not against) nature by encouraging natural regeneration; and
planting mangroves only for very specified reasons where natural propagules are not available.
MAP's Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) Method
An effective, long-term solution to degraded mangrove forests worldwide.
Since the December 2004 tsunami there has been a mounting call for re-establishing protective greenbelts along coastlines. Although the jury is still out on the extent to which mangroves mediate tsunami damage, mangrove forests are proven effective barriers against tropical storms and strong wave action.
How effective mangroves are depends on a number of factors, such as:
density, width, height, and species composition of the mangrove forest;
- height of the tsunami
bathymetry of the coastline; and
other oceanographic factors.
Why do so many mangrove restoration projects fail?
Much of the post-tsunami effort to restore coastal greenbelts involved simple planting of mangrove seedlings and propagules.
There have been numerous failures, already, due to planting of inappropriate species, and in inappropriate locations.
Failure occurs, in general, due to a lack of understanding of the restoration site itself:
What was its history?
What mangrove species grew there?
Where did they grow?
- What caused the destruction or degradation of the mangroves?
What were their hydrological requirements?
How deep was the substrate in which they grew?
What were the fresh water inputs to the area?
Where did exchange of tidal and sea water take place?
Contrary to popular belief, mangroves require some freshwater to grow well, and they are submerged only around one third of the time.
Planting mangroves along an exposed coastline, in too-deep water without fresh water input, is a recipe for failure.
Much money was spent after the tsunami in developing mangrove seedling nurseries, while little money or time was put into determining the site-specific needs of mangroves at each restoration location.
The resulting failure of many restoration projects is discouraging to all parties involved, not least the local communities which need positive encouragement to restore and protect mangroves, rather than discouragement over project failure.