Preserving The Mangroves
The mangroves are where nature reveals its flawlessness; it’s where everything flows harmoniously. The blend of freshwater and saltwater, along with the diversity of the most unusual plants and wildlife, are all set against a backdrop that unveils its natural splendour and beauty of Desaru Coast.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at what mangrove forests mean globally and the role Dash Outdoors is playing locally in helping to preserve them.
Table Of Contents
What Are The Mangroves?
Mangrove forests are unique ecosystems that grow along tropical coasts, where they thrive in saltwater and tidal conditions. The mangrove ecosystems are considered to be some of the most productive and biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet:
They serve as important habitats for all manner of fish, sharks, manatees, crabs, and other vital species and provide food, jobs, and other resources to communities worldwide. The mangroves also contribute to coastal protection from erosion and protect some of the most vulnerable coastal communities from the devastating impacts of climate change.
Besides this, the mangrove forest is essential in maintaining water quality, trapping sediments and filtering pollutants originating from the surrounding areas.
Finally, even though mangrove forests cover less than 1.0% of the planet’s land surface, they store more carbon than any other type of forest and, as a result, are a fundamental part of the solution to climate change.
Globally Where Are The Mangrove Forests
Mangroves can be found in 118 countries globally, representing one per cent of the tropical forest worldwide and less than 0.4 per cent of the world’s forests. Approximately 75 per cent of the world’s mangrove forests culminate in just 15 countries. Indonesia, a land of some 17,000 tropical islands, has by far the largest of all mangrove forest cover, closely followed by the likes of Brazil, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Australia.
In Malaysia, Mangroves comprise less than 2% of the total land area. There are approximately 641,886 hectares of mangrove forests, of which 57% are in Sabah, 26% in Sarawak and the remaining 17% in Peninsular Malaysia.
Why Are The Mangroves So Important To Malaysia?
The Malaysian mangrove ecosystem plays a vital natural resource for the coastal communities. It provides resources like fishes, shells and other gastropods for the fishermen, while productive forests provide fuel-wood, poles and other materials for local constructions. Along with this, tours of the mangroves offer both employment and a regular source of revenue to several locally based tourist companies.
What’s Happening To The Mangrove Forests?
Notwithstanding their wide-ranging benefits and their global importance, mangroves are being systematically destroyed and degraded at a frightening rate. Around the globe, mangrove forests are being cleared for aquaculture (fish and shrimp ponds) together with other agriculture and urban coastal developments. They are also suffering from increased land-based pollution and the impacts of rapid sea-level rise.
Why Do We Need To Preserve Mangrove Forests?
The mangroves need to be preserved because not only do the swamps provide a significant ecosystem to both human life and the diversity of life that inhabits them. They are the breeding grounds and early growth areas of various species of ocean life living on coral reefs. Furthermore, many communities are highly dependent on mangrove forest products, including its timber and fishery resources.
Supporting Local Initiatives For Preserving The Mangrove Forests
Because mangroves are being destroyed and degraded at an alarming rate, public awareness is crucial in creating a generation of people concerned about conserving ecosystems and other aspects of natural resource management.
With such awareness, conservation teams can inspire the local communities to work together to develop a number of initiatives to ensure sustainable future management of the environment.
One such initiative that we here at Dash Outdoors are proud to support is mangrove replanting. Mangrove replanting allows the whole community to be involved in the activity to understand and learn more about the existence of the ecosystem in the future.
By participating in such an initiative, we know that not only are we helping raise awareness, we are also helping to safeguard and preserve the mangrove ecosystems here in Malaysia.