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Mangroves: A Star Player In The Coastal Protection Game

August 08, 2017 |

This article was originally published on the Huffington Post By Mark Tercek, President and CEO and Mike Beck, Lead Marine Scientist, The Nature Conservancy. 

“They do it all: sequester greenhouse gases, protect marine life, maintain fresh water and, of course, defend against rising sea levels and storm surges.

So how can TNC, a conservation organization, convince businesses and governments to invest in mangroves? By putting it in convincing terms: dollars and cents.

TNC recently partnered with World Bank, the Philippines Government and the University of Cantabria to determine the value of mangroves in the Philippines for risk reduction. With the Bank, we developed guidelines and applied tools developed by the engineering and insurance sectors to determine the value of benefits from mangroves and other critical coastal habitats, like reefs. We also applied state of the art hydrodynamic and economic models to show how critical these habitats are.

The findings are significant. In a snapshot:

  • Mangroves annually avert more than $1 billion USD in damages to residential and industrial stock. Without mangroves, the cost of damages to residential and industrial property would increase by 28 percent.
  • Based on the Philippines’s current population, the mangroves lost between 1950 and 2010 have resulted in increases in flooding to more than 267,000 people every year.
  • Restoring these mangroves would bring more than $450 USD million per year in flood protection benefits.
  • Without mangroves, flooding and damages to people, property and infrastructure would increase annually by approximately 25 percent.
  • Currently, mangroves protect 613,000 people from flooding, of whom 23 percent live in poverty…”

Read on at: the Huffington Post.

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