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Coastal Cities and Mangrove Loss



  Feb 03, 2024

Coastal Cities and Mangrove Loss



What are mangroves?

Mangroves are a group of tree and shrub species that grow in coastal intertidal zones. They are known for their dense root systems that stabilize coastlines, protect against erosion, and provide habitat for a wide variety of marine and terrestrial species.

Why are mangroves important for coastal cities?

Mangroves play a crucial role in protecting coastal cities from climate change-related hazards such as sea level rise, coastal erosion, flooding, and storm surges. They also contribute to reducing the Urban Heat Island Effect, sequestering atmospheric carbon, and maintaining local climate conditions.

How are coastal cities impacting mangrove forests?

Rapid urbanization and development activities, including extensive land reclamation, infrastructure construction, and waste dumping, are leading to significant loss of mangrove cover in coastal cities. This loss compromises the protective functions of mangroves, making cities more vulnerable to natural disasters.

What was the impact of mangrove loss in Mumbai and Chennai?

In Mumbai, land reclamation and development projects have led to considerable mangrove loss, reducing the city's resilience to flooding and other coastal hazards. Chennai experienced severe flooding, partly due to the loss of wetlands and increased concrete cover, highlighting the importance of maintaining mangrove and wetland ecosystems to prevent similar disasters.

What solutions are proposed to protect mangroves in urban areas?

Solutions include:

Infalible protection and consistent monitoring of existing urban mangrove tracts to prevent encroachment, illegal logging, and waste dumping.
Ensuring that replanting efforts maintain not only the structural but also the functional integrity of mangrove ecosystems, considering their role in the larger ecology of the intertidal zone.
Promoting sustainable urban planning that integrates the conservation of mangrove forests as a key component of climate resilience and coastal protection strategies. MISHTI

Can replanting mangroves compensate for the loss of mature mangrove forests?

While replanting mangroves is a positive step, nascent mangrove forests cannot immediately provide the same level of ecosystem services as mature forests. Mature mangroves offer better protection against coastal hazards, emphasizing the need for preserving existing stands alongside replanting efforts.

How can the public contribute to mangrove conservation?

Public contributions to mangrove conservation can include supporting mangrove restoration projects, participating in community clean-up efforts, advocating for sustainable development policies that protect mangroves, and raising awareness about the importance of mangroves for coastal resilience and biodiversity.


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