I carry good news concerning our War against global warming! My team successfully completed the Mauritius Mangrove Restoration Project; a project I created and funded. The latter consisted of planting over 12,000 mangrove seeds (also known as propagules) along the shorelines of Mauritius. The project was executed on the 22nd and 23rd June 2012 under the supervision of the a representative from the Ministry of Fisheries. It was tough work which required a lot of effort and planning but I am proud to say that we made it! The initial aim was to plant 10,000 mangrove trees but we didn't stop there since planting more trees at that time was feasible... and we are not done yet!
I come from Mauritius, an island off the southeast coast of the African Continent in the southwest Indian Ocean (2010'S 5731'E).Mangroves covered most of the coastline of Mauritius in the past. Over the decades mangroves have been destroyed for firewood, construction purposes,development purposes and for providing boat passages.
Mangroves play an important role in the coastal ecosystem of Mauritius and their importance is listed as follows:
- They prevent coastal erosion and dampening action of waves on coastline.
- They retain terrigeneous sediments, thereby protecting the lagoons from the effects of sediments.
- They are one of the most potent carbon absorbers in the world.
- They provide food in the form of leaves and offering detritus trapped among their roots for a number of marine organisms.
- They provide habitats and nursery grounds for crabs, shrimp and juvenile fish.
- They provide substrates for fixation of oyster spat.
Our project became necessary lack of mangrove plants in the lagoon was responsible for considerable decrease in yield of fish. About 70% of commercial fishes depend on mangrove sites during their juvenile stages, so healthy mangroves are vital as many people in Mauritius depend on fisheries (fishing, crab catching) to earn a living.
Our main objective behind this project however was to lend a hand in the fight against the greenhouse effect.. A study by Malaysian professor Jim Eong Ong reveals that mangroves may sequester more carbon than any other ecosystem on earth.
The 12,000 seeds were planted in various sites all located in the south-east of the island. The name of the regions are namely 'Bois des amourettes', 'Bambous Virieux', 'Providence' and 'Anse Jonche'. Please find attached pictures showing the areas where the seeds were reforested.
I was hoping that this project will sensitize the world about the benefits of mangroves. This would enable people interested in mangroves to contact me and encourage collaboration for future projects. Please feel free if you require more pictures or if there are any clarifications to be made.