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Mangroves key to saving lives
Date:7/21/2008

urvival rate of 97 percent. Primavera and Esteban point out that the community involved had a shared interest in the survival of the mangroves and lived next to the plantation site therefore making maintenance easy.

They also noted a distinct lack of ecological knowledge as the wrong species of mangrove is consistently being planted in inappropriate sites. The sheltered areas which have been largely converted to fishponds were historically home to the mangrove forests. These ponds are theoretically covered by legal title if privately owned. This has led to the most popular species of mangrove, Rhizophora, being planted on exposed coastlines, where there are no ownership issues, despite its inability to withstand wave action.

The authors point out that many of these government-leased ponds have no legal basis and many are underutilized or have been abandoned. They challenge the Philippine government to 'muster enough political will to make abandoned, undeveloped and otherwise illegal culture ponds available for mangrove rehabilitation'. Planting in these more appropriate sites, together with the use of hardier species such as S. alba and A. marina in more exposed areas, would have a significant effect on survival rates.

Primavera and Esteban conclude that the ecological benefits of mangrove rehabilitation involve planting the correct species on suitable sites, the involvement and commitment of the community and grant of tenure. Funding appears to be of secondary importance.


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Contact: Joan Robinson
Joan.Robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

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