In the Media
Local communities, funding help save mangrove in C. Philippines
December 20, 2011
A community of fisherfolks has been instrumental in rehabilitating and protecting mangrove forest in central Philippines, a move that helps this Southeast Asian country adapt to and mitigate the impact of a warmer planet.
A community-based system of managing coastal forests also ensured that laws meant to protect mangroves are enforced, notes Jurgenne Primavera, retired scientist and manager of the Community- Based Mangrove Rehabilitation Project in the Philippines (CMRP).
“The community is in the best position to protect the mangroves because they live near the mangrove forests. Even if you have all the laws (to protect the mangroves), if it can’t be enforced, then those laws are useless,” Primavera said in a phone interview.
Next only to Indonesia, the Philippines has the highest mangrove diversity in Southeast Asia. But it has also one of highest rates of mangrove loss. Primavera said mangrove areas in the country have declined from some 500,000 hectares in the early 1900s to only 100,000 hectares. The fast growing aquaculture industry, according to Primavera, has led to conversion of several mangrove forests into fishponds. Years before climate change became a big issue, the Philippine government has issued several administrative orders mandating the protection and rehabilitation of mangroves. There have also been several government-initiated and internationally-funded efforts to restore mangrove areas.
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Keywords: Asia, deforestation, mangroves, Philippines, rehabilitate