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Mangroves and sea grass

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*****Mangroves ecosystems: In the land of erosion, erosion becomes an art. Join us for a visual trip to Qeshm Island, a new UNESCO #Geopark □️ *****Thirsty mangroves cause unprecedented dieback - JCU Australia. Mangrove dieback in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

*****Thirsty mangroves cause unprecedented dieback - JCU Australia

Dr Norman Duke, leader of JCU’s Mangrove Research hub, headed an investigation into the massive mangrove dieback. The findings were published in the Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research today (Tuesday 14 March). The scientists used aerial observations and satellite mapping data of the area dating back to 1972, combined with weather and climate records. Dr Duke said they found three factors came together to produce the unprecedented dieback of 7400 hectares of mangroves, which stretched for 1000 kilometres along the Gulf coast.

“From 2011 the coastline had experienced below-average rainfalls, and the 2015/16 drought was particularly severe. ***Mangroves may be one of nature's best defenses against a changing climate. The human element of mangrove management. Some countries have recognised the critical role mangrove forest management can play in climate mitigation - but others must catch up, says Stephen Brooks of USAID As global climate change continues to threaten coastal communities in the tropics, governments have increasingly focused on the promotion and conservation of mangrove forests for their protective qualities.

The human element of mangrove management

Mangroves — trees and shrubs that grow in tropical estuaries — are among the world’s most productive ecosystems and, compared to other forest systems, have an impressive capacity to sequester and store carbon at high rates. They also serve as an important physical buffer, protecting coastal areas from storm surges and acting as “bioshields.” Despite these clear benefits, since 1980 the world has lost approximately 20 percent of its mangrove forests.

With this in mind, there is a growing need to understand the factors, both biophysical and societal, that contribute to sustainable mangrove management. African Wetlands Project: A Win For the Climate and the People? by Winifred Bird: Yale Environment 360. 03 Nov 2016: Report by winifred bird Standing calf-deep in the warm, brackish water of Senegal’s Saloum Delta, Saly Sarr points to a mass of ripples colored silver by the setting sun.

African Wetlands Project: A Win For the Climate and the People? by Winifred Bird: Yale Environment 360

“You see that movement?” She says. Blue future. Over the past decade, scientists and policymakers have joined efforts to create a science-based framework under the auspices of the United Nations to protect our remaining tropical forests.

Blue future

These carbon-rich ecosystems help to moderate the climate and serve as a treasure trove of biodiversity and a resource for local and indigenous peoples. Governments across the tropics have begun to incorporate forest conservation into their climate and development plans. Now it is time to do the same with coastal wetlands. Mumbai's mangroves under threat (video clip) Call for more protection for seagrass meadows. Image copyright Frogfish Seagrasses - the underwater plants that act as nursery grounds for young fish - need more protection, say scientists.

Call for more protection for seagrass meadows

Monitoring of seagrass meadows off the North Wales coast found areas damaged by the likes of boat moorings, anchors and vehicles crossing at low tide had reduced value to the ecosystem. The most threatened ecosystem you’ve never heard of. October 12, 2016 — What covers up to 600,000 square kilometers (230,000 square miles) of Earth’s surface, provides benefits worth an estimated US$570 billion or more each year, and is rapidly being lost due to human activity?

The most threatened ecosystem you’ve never heard of

If you have not a clue, you’re far from alone. Scientists who study the underwater feature known as a seagrass meadow call it a “marginalized ecosystem” that ranks with coral reefs and mangrove swamps as among the most endangered marine habitats but is “often overlooked, regarded as merely an innocuous feature of the ocean.” And they’re hoping that will change: The World Seagrass Association has released a statement urging the world’s conservation leaders to protect seagrass meadows from human harm through policies, education and action. Call for action to protect 'the lungs of the sea' Image copyright DAVID WROBEL, VISUALS UNLIMITED /SPL More than 100 scientists from 28 countries have called for global action to protect seagrass meadows.

Call for action to protect 'the lungs of the sea'

Seagrasses are flowering plants that form dense underwater beds in shallow water. Vietnam sweats bullets as China and Laos dam the Mekong. This is the second article of an in-depth, four-part series exploring threats facing the Mekong Delta and how they might be addressed.

Vietnam sweats bullets as China and Laos dam the Mekong

Read the first installment here. Nothing that influences the future of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta induces more angst than the hydroelectric dam projects on the mainstream of the Mekong, upriver from the Delta. A handful of Vietnamese experts have been sounding the alarm for years. Upstream diversion impacts: Scientists highlight risks of hydropower dams in the Mekong Delta for COP21 delegates. Hydropower dams are being promoted as sustainable development around the world, especially in tropical river basins, despite numerous warnings from scientists that the dams come with grave impacts for ecosystems, biodiversity, the rights of local communities and the global climate.

Upstream diversion impacts: Scientists highlight risks of hydropower dams in the Mekong Delta for COP21 delegates

Plans to build 43 large dams in the Brazilian Amazon’s Tapajós River Basin, for instance, have been the subject of much study that has shown the enormous harm to rainforest ecosystems and indigenous peoples those projects will cause. Researchers have also found that the dams emit far more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere than official reports acknowledge.

Now, Dr. Eleven hydropower dams are planned for the main stream of the Mekong River, while hundreds more could be built on the Mekong’s main tributaries. Laos has already started construction of the Xayaburi Dam and the Don Sahong Dam on the Mekong despite strong opposition from neighboring countries, according to Scientists for the Mekong. What in the World is a Dugong? Sri Lanka prime minister: Mangroves curb climate threat. Image copyright Seacology.

Sri Lanka prime minister: Mangroves curb climate threat

Protecting mangroves, Kenya's fishermen net cash - and more ... Coastal Kenyan community earns $30,000 in two years selling carbon credits from mangroves they protect By Moraa Obiria GAZI BAY, Kenya, Sept 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - For fishing communities on Kenya's southern coast, felling mangrove trees to make boats has long been a part of life. But traditional attitudes toward the mangroves are shifting, as communities become aware of a new benefit from keeping the trees standing: cash payments for carbon storage. Local people who are protecting and replanting mangroves are now selling 3,000 tonnes of carbon credits a year to international buyers, for about $5-$6 a tonne. The money goes into financing more forest protection and restoration, and to community-chosen projects. Besides protecting the trees themselves, the effort aims to improve local fisheries, as many species of fish breed and raise their young in shoreline mangroves, and build resilience to worsening storm surges and coastal erosion, which can be slowed by mangroves.

Are U.S. Tax Dollars Financing Destruction of World’s Largest Mangrove Forest? In conjunction with the Save the Sundarbans protest today at the UN's headquarters in New York City, we're revealing in this EcoWatch exclusive that Friends of the Earth U.S. obtained documents that suggest the U.S. Export-Import Bank, Ex-Im Bank, which is supported by taxpayer dollars, is considering financing the Orion-Khulna coal plant near the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. Mangroves: 'Let mangroves recover' to protect coasts. Image copyright Mark Spalding Allowing mangrove forests to recover naturally result in more resilient habitats that benefit both wildlife and people, say conservationists. In Indonesia, a Wetlands International project uses permeable dams to restore sediment needed for the trees to grow.

The charity says early results suggest "ecological restoration" is more effective than planting programmes. Sri Lanka prime minister: Mangroves curb climate threat.