Is the only tree growing in salty water acting as a buffer between land and sea
Extremely efficient in mitigating CO2. Read more about Blue Carbon http://www.grida.no/publications/rr/blue-carbon/ebook.aspx
Protecting life and properties from extreme weather
Increasing sea food production by up to 50%
Filtering and cleaning water
Providing cooling effect and other ecosystem services for life on earth
THE “MIRACLE” TREE
Mangrove lives in fine sedimented soil, and its roots are extensive, anchoring them well. It also absorb and stores CO2 very efficiently. But, just when we need Mangroves the most, they are being devastated worldwide for coastal development, shrimp farms and charcoal industries.
STARBOARD seeks to allow benefits to flow more directly to local people, by involving them in preserving the mangrove forests, which will in turn generate alternative income for them, as well as engage them in the critical act of protecting the Mangrove for themselves and the rest of the world.
HOW DOES THE MANGROVE ABSORB CO2?
WHERE DO MANGROVES LIVE?
Mangroves live on coastal and delta areas. Compared to dry land trees, they live on very fine soil that are made of sediments. They are constantly exposed to not only tidal changes but also washed through with water and sediments from the mountains and rivers.
TRAPPING SEDIMENT AND BUILDING IT UP
Since Mangroves live on such a fine ground they have developed a shallow root system that they use to not only as stability but also to trap new sediment. When they trap new sediment they are constantly building themselves higher and higher up at the same time as they are pushing old sediment lower and lower down.
As well as the dry land trees, Mangroves also photosynthesize and absorbs CO2 through their leaves and drop them to the ground. But here is another differences, the carbon components of the leaves are getting trapped in to the soil and pushed further and further down instead of being recycled up in to the trees own ECO system.
The old sediments underneath Mangrove not only store carbon components from the tree itself, it also traps the carbon compounds from the mountains and rivers.
Compared to a rainforest tree that has deep penetrating roots that creates oxygen chambers deep in to the soil, Mangrove’s root system are very shallow so they cannot lead the oxygen down in to the soil and therefore the soil becomes extremely low in oxygen, or anoxic.
Because the soil is anoxic the CO2 is not oxidized and released by micro organisms and therefore the CO2 is stored for as long as the tree is alive.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE TREE DIES?
If you cut the Mangrove you expose the area for both erosion and for rapid wetting and drying. Once you get rapid wetting and drying, the carbon components starts to break free and rise back up in to the atmosphere again.
We have already lost over 35% of the worlds mangrove trees over the last 30 years and we are continuing to lose a further 1% every year. In Myanmar only 20% of the original mangrove cover remains. It is projected that most, if not all its remaining mangrove cover will be gone in the vital delta region by 2030 according to the latest NASA satellite surveillance report. (reference NASA report)
The protection of Mangroves is a comprehensive task that includes not only the preservation of the trees but also to find or create alternative livelihood for locals.
Today, many poor people who live in and around Mangroves have no other option of income than to illegally cut the trees, burn them and sell the charcoal to industry.
Mangrove serve the vital purpose of protection and providing food for the marine life. They are therefore critical to the foundation of a complex marine food chain and for sustaining fisheries and many forms of bird and wildlife.
– Planting and protecting mangroves reduces poverty by creating new livelihoods in disadvantaged communities.
– Mangroves preserve water quality and reduce pollution. They filter suspended material, assimilating dissolved nutrients and providing a substantial cooling effect.