At Starboard, we acknowledge our role as a polluter, continuously taking efforts to reduce our footprint, and even making it climate-positive.

 

Every year, we calculate our carbon footprint. From here, we offset them 10 times over by planting Mangroves, making Starboard climate-positive. Since 2017, we have planted more than 1 million trees in Myanmar in collab with WIF.

Though we are already 10 times climate-positive, we still emit greenhouse gases. Starboard continuously work to reduce emissions across Scope 1, 2 and 3. In line with Science-Based Targets, we have pledged to decrease our CO2 emissions by 100% by 2050.

This page will share with you the answers to the most common questions about Mangroves. It is important to note that mangroves grow in various locations, are verified in different ways, and that CO2 is calculated differently between different mangrove projects.

 

Common Questions About Mangroves Answered (FAQ)

What are mangroves?

Mangroves are the only trees that grow direcly in salt water. These salt-tolerant trees, also called halophytes, have evolved over time to thrive in harsh coastal conditions. They have an effective salt filtration system through their complex root structure, allowing them to fare well with salt water immersion and wave action. The low oxygen (anoxic) conditions of waterlogged mud help with their CO2 sequestration.

Watch this video to learn more, or view WIF’s list of facts about Mangroves. 

Why has Starboard chosen to plant mangroves and not other trees?

Many scientists say ‘Blue Carbon’ sequestration methods, such as planting mangroves, are the most efficient ways of removing carbon from the atmosphere. Plants in the Blue Carbon category are known to grow in more densely populated numbers than a typical forest. When it comes to carbon dioxide, they are highly productive at drawing it down and trapping sediment between the plants to create the ground store, which is where CO2 is sunk.

Learn more here or scroll down on this page.

What is Blue Carbon?

Blue Carbon refers to carbon that is stored in Coastal and Marine Ecosystems. Including; seagrass meadows, mangrove forests, saltmarshes and kelp forests.

Blue carbon stores only cover 2% of the world, however, they account for approximately 50% of carbon stores on the planet.

Learn more here.

Why are mangroves so important?

As well as being incredible at natural carbon sequestration, Mangrove forests provide many additional benefits. They enhance biodiversity by creating nesting, breeding and nursery habitats for fish and shellfish, migratory birds, and sea turtles. This in turn supports local livelihoods by increasing fish stocks that providing higher yields for local fishing communities. Local communities also benefit from the jobs created by the tree guardian and planting roles. Mangrove forests maintain water quality by trapping sediments and pollutants with their roots. Protecting fragile ecosystems such as seagrass meadows and coral reefs further downstream which could otherwise be damaged by pollutants or buried in loose sediment. Mangrove’s complex root structures are also a natural coastal defence against tsunamis and tropical storms, protecting the land and local communities.

Read Why Mangroves Matter to learn more.

Where can mangroves be found?

In tropical and subtropical countries all over the world.

Find out more about where in the world mangroves grow.

What is the composition of a mangrove growing area?

Mangrove forests are comprised almost entirely of mangroves (as no other trees can survive these conditions). However, there are around 80 species of Mangrove Tree worldwide, 24 of which are native to Myanmar. These different species of mangrove make up the majority of the forest but they also create a habitat for other plants to thrive including palms, ferns, epiphytes (such as orchids), grasses and climbers.

Learn more here.

What country do you plant the mangroves in?

We currently plant our mangroves in Myanmar. In the near future, we hope to be expanding into Thailand. You can view the exact locations of where the mangroves are planted on the Worldview International Foundation Website.

Why plant in Myanmar?

Myanmar’s shoreline is an area that was once covered by mangrove forests. As the mangroves once thrived here, and their decline has come from human action, it proves the soils and climate provide the perfect conditions for new mangroves to be planted.

Why plant with Worldview International Foundation (WIF)?

Starboard worked with WIF on their first pilot project at the Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park, situated at the Pathein University Research Centre on the edge of the Bay of Bengal. With the help of Pathein University, WIF and the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry 1800 acres of mangroves were successfully stored.

The strength of the pilot project and learnings from WIF’s vast experience in planting mangroves has resulted in WIF’s mangroves having a huge 96% survival rate. This is partly due to their knowledge of optimal planting areas and their incredible livelihoods projects which help engage and employ the local communities as guardians of the forests. Read more on the Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park.

What about the political situation in Myanmar?

Rather than removing the financial and community support of the project, we have chosen to continue planting in Myanmar. This ensures job security and a reliable income for the communities involved. Our efforts are not being removed, especially due to any political situation, as this would further hinder the livelihoods and survival of many people.

How does WIF support the local communities?

Local communities are in charge of the planting, supervision and safeguarding of the forests and are employed in paid roles for this. In this job creation process, women empowerment is at the top of the agenda.

Mangrove forests also create natural habitats for sea life, increasing seafood resources by 50%, creating seafood-rich areas. Mangrove forests also act as a green shield, protecting coastline villages from cyclones and other extreme weather events, making them safer places to live in.

Learn more:

Empowerment for women
Linked job opportunities
Community development
Scholarships for students

How many seedlings will survive to become mature trees?

Mangroves planted by WIF have a 96% survival rate once they surpass the 3-month mark. At 3-months, if any plants do not survive (due to being washed away by tides before they can anchor their roots) they are replanted.

What is a mangroves lifespan?

Mangroves reach maturity after 12 to 15 years and, while there is little research into a mangroves total lifespan, some species are known to live for over 100 years.

How does planting in Myanmar draw in emissions from elsewhere?

CO2 is released into the atmosphere and shared with the whole planet. Watch this video NASA released to see how CO2 moves globally.

How does carbon dioxide move from the different stores?

The carbon cycle is how carbon dioxide continuously circulates from the different carbon stores and the atmosphere.

The National Ocean Service explains “the carbon cycle”.

How does the mangrove process carbon?

Through Photosynthesis, where a plant converts light into energy through cellular respiration. During this process, CO2 is taken in, broken down into carbon and oxygen and as oxygen is released back into the atmosphere carbon remains within the plant.

What is Soil Organic Carbon (SOC)?

Soil Organic Carbon is the amount of carbon from live or decaying matter found in the soil. It doesn’t represent the total amount of organic matter in the soil but is often used as a benchmark as it is easier to measure accurately.

Learn more here.

How does the soil trap CO2?

The dense tangle of mangrove roots reduces water movement in tidal areas, allowing leaves, branches and other organic matter to settle on the seafloor rather than be washed away. Due to the low oxygen content of the soil in these forests, the organic matter that settles decays incredibly slowly. As organic matter piles up, the material at the bottom has less and less access to oxygen further reducing its chances of decaying and releasing carbon back into the atmosphere. Read more here.

Who calculates the CO2 mangroves sequester?

Wordview International Foundation calculate the CO2 absorption and storage of their mangroves. To ensure that these calculations are accurate, an external auditing company checks validates and validates the calculations. Finally the CO2 calculations are approved by VERRA, an international environmental standards organisation, before they can be used in carbon offsetting programs.

Learn more at Verra’s website.

How long does it take to sink 1 tonne?

The total time it takes for a mangrove to sink 1 tonne of CO2 depends on species to species, location to location and other various factors. However in order to know how many trees must be planted to offset emissions, WIF calculate a conservative estimation of how much CO2 is absorbed per hectare of mangrove forest.

Do all mangroves sequester the same amount of CO2?

The amount of carbon dioxide a mangrove sequester varies depending on:

  • Species
  • Size
  • Location
  • Soil Quality
  • Climatic Conditions

How many mangroves are planted per hectare?

Current practice is 2500 trees per hectare. However in previous projects up to 5000 trees have been planted per hectare.

Why are our calculations based over a 20 year period?

Mangroves sink different amounts of CO2 in the stages of their life, think of it like our growth spurts when we grow up! When the mangrove is very young it doesn’t sink so much CO2. As the mangrove grows bigger it has more leaves and can therefore perform more photosynthesis every year until reaching maturity at around 12 years. Once mature, the mangrove reduces the amount CO2 it takes in, as it doesn’t need it to grow bigger. At this stage, the mangrove will photosynthesise just enough to regrow leaves and maintain basic functions.

Are trees cut down to make way for the mangroves?

No. WIF plant in areas where mangroves once thrived, and where the mangroves were previously destroyed for shrimp or salt farming, or to be turned into coal. Mangroves are one of the very few trees that can survive in salty, tidal and coastal waters. Meaning, that if they become a victim of deforestation not many plants can grow in their place.

Why were mangroves previously cut down?

Research by NASA showed that 62% of mangrove loss was due to farming and aquaculture. This includes salt and shrimp farming. The rest comes from natural causes such as land erosion or strong storms destroying the mangroves.

Learn more here.

How does mangrove loss impact the environment?

The loss of mangrove forests can lead to further environmental damages. Including land erosion, as soil and sediment previously secured by the mangrove roots are washed away by the tide. Further damages occur further down the line as coral reefs and seagrass meadows are destroyed by the sediment washed down the river. The mangrove roots hold down sediment that would otherwise cover and destroy more fragile ecosystems. Mangroves also provide shade that can prevent or reduce coral bleaching events. Mangroves are such a hub for biodiversity and so much life depends on the mangrove forests health. Fish populations use the mangrove roots as an essential nursery and protective habitat for fish and their food chain. They could also provide the answer to preventing erosion caused by rising sea levels. Finally, mangroves are also one of the keys to reducing the rate of climate change through carbon scrubbing.

How are the mangroves protected from being chopped down?

WIF work closely with the local communities, employing them as Tree Guardians to plant and protect the mangroves. By providing local people with more money from protecting the mangroves than they would receive by chopping them down the survival of the mangroves can be ensured.

What happens if a mangrove dies?

If a tree dies naturally, it will fall into the soil below. Due to the low oxygen content of the soil in these forests the dead tree matter that settles will decay incredibly slowly. Meaning CO2 is held in the soil instead of being released into the atmosphere. Some carbon dioxide is still released, the amount is much less and the rate is slower.

What happens if a tree is damaged or cut down?

If a tree is cut down, cleared and the land-use changes into let’s say, a shrimp farm, then carbon will be released into the atmosphere faster. When a tree is damaged by a storm, the tree is likely to regrow. The fallen tree can also create protection for smaller trees to continue growing.

We hope this page has given you a lot more knowledge about the mangroves planted on behalf of Starboard.

Please pop us an email if you have any further questions!

blue@star-board.com

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