Where communities and crabs work for Mangroves

News 02.11.18


Nature4Climate loves this story for mangrove month!

If there is a last line of defense against climate change, it may well lie in the mangrove trees that cling to coastlines throughout the tropics.

Locked in the mud of these unique tidal forests is thousands of years’ worth of accumulated carbon. Clear the mangroves — as humanity has been doing ever faster in recent years — and that carbon is slowly released into the atmosphere, where it accelerates global warming.

Today, barely half of the world’s original mangroves remain, most of them having been cleared in the past half-century for farms and other development. Luckily, local efforts to protect these habitats — and other marine and coastal wetlands including seagrasses and salt marshes, collectively known as “blue carbon” ecosystems — have taken root. In northern Brazil, for example, Conservation International is assisting a local community in protecting its mangrove forests through sustainable crab-fishing cooperatives, which have doubled workers’ income in just a year.