What’s the Latest Development?
In many areas, mangroves are being cut down to make room for cattle farming or to supply energy to locals that lack alternative forms of energy to wood fuel. Along coastlines, manmade structures are being built to help protect against climate change as well as natural disasters. While scientists try to come up with ways to deal with problems stemming from climate change, one expert says that protecting mangroves can do a better and cheaper job than many engineered solutions.
What’s the Big Idea?
Julia Marton-Lefevre, director of the International Union for Conservation of Nature says “Mangrove forests can help regulate rainfall patterns, reduce the risk of disasters from extreme weather and sea-level rise, provide breeding grounds for fish, and capture carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to slow climate change.” In order to allow mangroves to sustain these benefits, work is being done to replant damaged or destroyed mangroves and protect ones that have been yet untouched. The director states that her group’s main message is to not “assume that man-made or engineered solutions are the only ones to protect our coasts and rivers and to provide drinking water. We are not against engineering in the absence of natural solutions, but look at what nature has to offer.”
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