Depletion of mangrove forests worries conservationists
Uncontrolled human activities have led to rampant depletion of mangrove forests and adversely affected marine ecosystems, environmental experts have said.
The latest baseline survey shows one-third of mangrove forest cover has been lost over the past 40 years, according to Dr. Nidhi Nagabhatla from the UN University.
Speaking at the closure of a course on mangrove ecosystems in the West Indian Ocean region held at Diani, Kwale County, Dr. Nagabhatla said the current status of mangrove forests was quite grim as they are prone to degradation across the world through human encroachment.
She called for a co-ordinated and collaborative action to tackle the threat globally noting that protection of mangrove should not be left to individual countries as it was a responsibility of the international community.
The expert further said that the course that brought together 25 experts from across the world was aimed at building the capacity of regional delegates on mangrove management and governance.
Dr. Nagabhatla emphasised the importance of mangroves in environmental protection and sustaining their social well-being of coastal communities
“The sad part is that we do not know much about mangrove forests and that is why they are extracted indiscriminately and even considered as wasteland,” she added.
She said that owing to their presence near the sea, mangrove forests help in assimilating carbon thus mitigating climate change.
By James Muchai