Maintaining the mangroves: Ensuring the broaden livelihoods and income increasing

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Maintaining the mangroves: Ensuring the broaden livelihoods and income increasing

Maintaining the mangroves: Ensuring the broaden livelihoods and income increasing

Swuam Pyaye Aye Aung                                                                                                                                 26th June, 201611

Mangroves are the treasure trove plant species in the world which exist along the tidal coastline. Mangrove forests are mainly spreading in three hotspots area of Rakhine State, Tanintharye State and Ayeyarwady Division in Myanmar. The ecological nature of the biome is filled with many peculiar characteristics i.e, respiratory roots, viviparous and tolerant to high salinity conditions.

What are the Mangrove Ecosystem Services?

Mangrove trees support a wide ranges of our daily needs (e.g. timber, bee, wax, thatch, dye and medicines). They are homes for aquatics organisms which in turn give us high nutrition value. In addition, they have the capacity to prevent bank erosion, siltation and salt water intrusion. They act as the shield protecting from tremendous cyclones and storm surge.

Meinmahla Island Wildlife Sanctuary (*ASEAN Heritage Park) is the attractive ecotourism site located in Bogale Township, Ayeyarwady Region. It is also the protective area for flora and fauna and enriched with recreational purposes. In some cases, the mangrove forest provides the cultural and spiritual outcomes.

Threatens to Mangroves

Direct human impacts are the biggest threat to the mangrove ecosystem. The main driver that causes mangrove deforestation is illegal logging and making charcoal. Over exploitation for fuelwood and timber production has degraded about 26% of mangrove forest around the world. Another significant factor is land use cover change in the area.

High level damage of mangrove may be inflicted on mangroves during the storms. By the velocity of the storm surge, the trees are uprooted, died and the condition of the soil is altered .and difficult to grow in short time. Furthermore, the ecosystem unbalancing can be occurred as the consequences of the salt water. “The color of the mangrove leaves turn red after striking with Cyclone Nargis and the regeneration rate is reduced than normal” said the interviewee living in the west part of Meinmahla Island.

The coastal region is under high pressure of vulnerability due to its long coastlines, high concentration of population and economic activity which rely on agriculture, natural resources and forestry. Climate Change is already affecting by increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather in recent decades.

According to the NASA, Mangroves are valued at $100,000 to $277,000 per square kilometer if it is managed in the sustainable ways, and the mangrove can infuse to the economic and financial development of the area and the country. Thus, Mangrove forest ecosystems are valuable natural resources that have the capacity to offer a range of environmental and economic benefits in many ways.

 

Therefore, maintaining to balance the ecosystem should be carried out in the emphasis way rather than considering for short term beneficiaries. In order to rehabilitate the degraded forest land, some of the strategies for conservation actions are described;

  • Rehabilitation of denuded mangrove area by plantation establishment and enrichment planting
  • Raising of active community conservation awareness among the local inhabitant of the area
  • Integration of mangrove ecosystem conservation with development needs of the dwellers (Community Forestry and Integrated Fish Farming)

 

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