THE PHILIPPINES lost 10.5% of its mangrove trees between 1990 and 2010, trailing only Myanmar’s losses of 27.6%, which are reckoned for the separate period of 2000 and 2014, the University of the Philippines said in a study.
The study surveyed 300 mangrove sites across Southeast Asia with the goal of filling “large gaps in our understanding of the current and future state of these already dwindling natural resources.”
The study recommended priority action on mangrove restoration as a climate change adaptation and mitigation measure; monitoring the recovery of biodiversity and ecosystem services; and strengthening of the ASEAN network.
The research also highlighted the need for new technology and innovation to effect a sustainable recolonization of mangrove areas.
“As a region vulnerable to natural disasters such as typhoons and tsunamis, restoration programs should be designed to adapt to and mitigate climate change impacts. Technological innovation for science-based green-gray coastal engineering are critical for facing changing climatic conditions,” the study concluded. — Ashley Erika O. Jose