The mangrove forest is a very special ecosystem made up of plants that grow, among others, in the coastal zone of tropical regions. Mangroves are the only trees to have evolved to thrive in extreme conditions: flooded soils with low nutrient contents and high salinity concentrations. It is one of the most productive ecosystems in the world, providing very important resources for people and coastal wildlife. The function of mangroves is to provide food and habitat for land and sea animals, as well as protection from predators. They help stabilize fragile coastal areas and reduce the effects of tsunamis and hurricanes. They also limit the damage caused by the effects of climate change, such as rising oceans. They have the ability to trap sediment and are one of the greatest carbon sinks (up to 10 times more efficient than terrestrial ecosystems), slowing climate change. Mangrove forests and coral reefs are closely linked and mutually necessary. Mangroves filter pollution, absorb nutrients, and stabilize the soil, allowing corals to thrive in clean, clear waters. Mangroves also serve as nurseries for many marine organisms such as fish, crabs and several invertebrates. In turn, the structure of the coral reef acts as a buffer, protecting the mangrove forests from waves, storms and flooding.
Unfortunately, due to human activities, this precious ecosystem is rapidly degrading. Mangrove forests are crucial for our environment and for coastal people, and important conservation measures must be taken to secure their future.
Our mangrove conservation program aims to protect and restore the Mahahual mangrove forest. To do this, several projects have been put in place to ensure the safeguard of this ecosystem, which is essential for human and animal communities. We have been working on many different projects and are planning for much more.
TO CONTRIBUTE DIRECTLY TO THE CONSERVATION OF MANGROVE, IT’S HERE!
- Creation of geospatial tools for mangrove research and conservation: since 2017, we have been mapping the coastal habitat of Mahahual, including the mangrove forest. This is also incredibly important to responsibly develop our coastal town.
- Education program: we are teaching kids and families the importance of the mangrove forest for our community and biodiversity during different activities such as movie nights, presentations, manual work, art, and more .
- Study of the economic value of the mangrove of Mahahual: in 2020, we have started an important study about the value our local community grants the mangrove forest of Mahahual. We have learned extremely useful information about the dynamics and relationship the population has with this vital ecosystem.
- Monitoring of flora and fauna: in 2020, we have started the study and characterization of the mangrove forest by monitoring the biodiversity found in this important habitat. The research is ongoing and the results will allow us to better plan for their protection and restoration.
- Mangrove restoration project: we are currently working on the planning of a mangrove restoration program for Mahahual in the hope to have strongly conserved coastal ecosystems.