UN: Rapid mangrove loss costing $ billions

| 30/09/2014

(CNS): The world is losing its mangroves at a faster rate than global deforestation, the United Nations has revealed in a new report pointing to billions of dollars in economic damage impacting millions of lives. The destruction of the coastal habitats is said to be three to five times faster than global forest loss resulting in $42billion losses annually and exposing ecosystems and coastal habitats to an increased risk of devastation from climate change. The report was launched Monday at the 16th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans, held in Greece, where the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned of the far reaching implications of the habitat loss. Although a global phenomenon the Cayman Islands has seen miles of its costal mangrove sacrificed in the name of development in recent years

“The escalating destruction and degradation of mangroves – driven by land conversion for aquaculture and agriculture, coastal development, and pollution – is occurring at an alarming rate,” said UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner who added that over a quarter of the earth’s original mangrove cover has gone.

“This has potentially devastating effects on biodiversity, food security and the livelihoods of some of the most marginalized coastal communities in developing countries, where more than 90 per cent of the world’s mangroves are found,” he added.

Steiner said mangroves – which are found in 123 countries around the world – provide ecosystem services worth up to $57,000 per hectare per year, storing carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere and providing the over 100 million people who live in their vicinity with a variety of goods and services such as fisheries and forest products, clean water and protection against erosion and extreme weather events. He stressed that their continued destruction “makes neither ecological nor economic sense.”

As well as the economic problems posed by mangrove deforestation, the report, entitled The Importance of Mangroves: A Call to Action, also cautions that a continued reduction in the surface area of mangrove forests would inevitably expose coastal environments to the harmful effects of climate change.

In the Caribbean, mangrove-lined “hurricane holes” have functioned for centuries as safe-havens for boaters needing to ride out storms. The complex network of mangrove roots can also help reduce wave energy, limit erosion and form a critical barrier to the dangers posed by the strengthening tropical storms, cyclones and tsunamis which have been assailing coastal communities in recent years due to climate change.

In order to safeguard what UNEP calls “one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet,” the report outlines a number of financial mechanisms and incentives designed to stimulate conservation, including the creation of a Global Mangrove Fund, encouraging mangrove conservation and restoration through carbon credit markets, and promoting economic incentives as a source of local income from mangrove protection, sustainable use, and restoration activities.

Steiner said it was important to spell out the need to preserve mangroves in real terms, underlining the economic impact their destruction has on the local and global communities.
“By quantifying in economic terms the value of the ecosystem services provided by mangroves as well as the critical role they play in global climate regulation, the report aims to encourage policymakers to use the tools and guidelines outlined to better ensure the conservation and sustainable management of mangroves.”

 

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  1. Anonyanmous says:

    Not to worry, money and greed can't stop God and mother nature.  God has no need for money or land. With all the money on this island no one absolutely no one could stop "Ivan" and no one will stop the next act of God so for all those who have no regards for God and nature wait and see how money willsave you in round 2.

  2. Anonymous says:

    "The world is losing its Mangroves at a rate faster than deforestation" and here in Cayman, in the name of the almighty dollar, we are allowing Developers to destroy what little Mangrove Buffer we have left. Then to add insult to injury, we allow the Developers to replace what they destroy with "re-planted" Mangrove. How long does that take to grow to the level of what was destroyed? Can we not accept that this Buffer is what serves to mitigate Wave Surge during Hurricanes?

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is the Biggest "NO DUH" ever but do you think the super intelligent "developers" ever have a clue or care about long term consequences?

    NO CHANCE!!

    As long as they can continue with the selling of ice to eskimos, dry land in the everglades as well as oases in the desert (how's that working out for you Dubai?) there will always be someone with money and no brains to purchase from them.

    Only then to see the REST of the POPULATION pick up the tab after each and every disaster via increased INSURANCE PREMIUMS!!!!

  4. Peter Milburn says:

    Why you think they are holding up finalising the NCL?Too many projects in the pipeline maybe??The newly formed conservation committee will have their hands full trying to regulate and of the big projects that I am sure are on the way but guess who has the final say on all that.?You only get one try on getting the correct answer to that question!!!!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have been saying this for over 30 years " If it is so important buy it" . You all are a bunch of hypocrites . You all know that the sea level will rise in 50-100 years, what can mangrove possibly prevent ? 

    Maybe there is another agenda , but its not protecting fish,conch ,lobsters or coast line. If it is then buy it. Its the cheapest land anywhere on the planet

    • Anonymous says:

      When you went to school did you miss the day they talked about how important mangrove is to the development of juvenile fish and sea life? 

  6. LL says:

    yup!  that's what we in Cayman were telling the big shots but they can't hear….. all for greed!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I was disappointed to see that some established mangroves were removed from a small sandy island near a fountain recently.  

  8. Anonymous says:

    Tell that to the greedy developers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately the greedy developers do not give a rats ass following the damage that Ivan casued.

      Their view is that the mangroves did absolutely nothing to stop the sea so it does not matter if they are removed.

      And that is the bottom line.

    • Anonymous says:

      Like DART.  Our beach was given away, and all the mangroves and idigineous plants removed.  All in the name of PROGRESS.

UN: Rapid mangrove loss costing $ billions

| 30/09/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The world is losing its mangroves at a faster rate than global deforestation, the United Nations has revealed in a new report pointing to billions of dollars in economic damage impacting millions of lives. The destruction of the coastal habitats is said to be three to five times faster than global forest loss resulting in $42billion losses annually and exposing ecosystems and coastal habitats to increased risk of devastation from climate change. The report launched Monday at the 16th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans, in Greece, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned of the far reaching implications of the habitat loss. Although a global phenomenon, the Cayman Islands has seen miles of its costal mangrove sacrificed in the name of development in recent years.

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Category: Science and Nature