Photo credit: Kevin Fitzsimmons (USA)
Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)
The ecological values and functions of mangrove in most tropical countries have been recognized and documented. These highly productive ecosystems provide habitats for a great diversity of animals and plants. In addition they represent an important and natural form of coastal protection against flooding events and rising sea levels. Moreover, the socioeconomic benefits to local communities are significant.
Unfortunately, mangroves have been threatened by variety of factors including and not limited to shrimp farming, urbanization, wood exploitation and pollution.
According to the World Conservation Union (IUCN), about eleven of the 70 mangrove tree species have been classified as being at an elevated risk of extinction.
In order to conserve the mangrove forests especially when global warming and sea rise are considered, national and international programs and action projects for the conservation and rehabilitation of mangrove emerged. These programs target the mitigation of threats to mangrove ecosystems through various approaches including the training of local communities, educational campaigns, and planting mangroves especially in affected areas and those prone to climate change effects.
The photos are taken from a mangrove restoration program at shrimp farm (Tumbes) in Peru in which trees of mangroves are grown to be planted in selected areas where they have been damaged or destroyed. There are different opinions in regard to the mangrove plantation highlighting that the ecological restoration of mangroves the reestablishment of both the structure and function to a previously damaged or lost mangrove forest that includes the full diversity of mangrove species formally present which means that planting one or few species of mangroves cannot be defined as a full ecological restoration of mangroves.