Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mangroves a Mundo

A study completed by Chandra Giri, E. Ochieng, Larry Tieszen and others at the USGS has mapped the world's mangroves by analysing about 1,000 LandSat scenes along with GIS, GE and other ancillary data. The researchers estimate that the 'total mangrove forest area of the world in 2000 was 137,760 sq. km', less than estimated by the previous global study, and about '0.7% of total tropical forests of the world'. Browse the results, download the data and/ or read the published paper (440KB PDF).

1 comment:

Steven O'Grady said...

Mangroves may only occupy a relatively small percentage of world forest (and decreasing annually since the 2000 results) however they share our coastal habitat and provide food, wildlife and protection which we need desperately in our upcoming battles with gravity and weather brought about by wasteful, polluting excesses of human activity. The Mangrove forests are one of the easiest to replant, hence this can be a focus of new activity for the benefit of future generations and a future world.
Many of our popular beaches could be planted with Rhizophora for example to provide shade, hold sand and show/inspire less concerned nations that we care enough about the future to sacrifice some old traditions/perceptions by giving some of our coasts the true protection which mangroves (even just a few) can provide.
The importance of such a 'cost-effective' evolution of our coastal management strategy cannot be underestimated as we are forced to retreat from rising sealevel and harsher weather to come.