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IMA > News

There is no place like a Mangrove Forest

Located in Gazi Bay of southern Kenya, Mikoko Pamoja is the first community-based project in the world to successfully sell carbon credits from mangrove conservation and restoration. Uniting the villages of Gazi and Makongeni, the initiative began in 2013, marketing carbon credits for the period 2013-2033. In the not too distant past, like most places, the effects of poverty-stricken community were threatening their way of life. In Kenya, the consequences of illegal mangrove logging filtered into the livelihoods of the Gazi and Makongeni resulting in a reduction in their fish catches. With the mangrove forests serving as nurseries for many fish species,...

A Predicted Ocean

Why do we need to predict the Ocean? Does it seem like reports of storm surges; rough and rising seas, coastal flooding and erosion are more pervasive today than ever before? These climatic conditions and phenomenon have always existed and have been understood for a long time, so why is it so topical now? This could be due to a number of factors, but high on the list would be the fact that the world is now more dependent on the ocean than ever before. Globally, the oceans serve as the world’s largest source of protein, with more than 3 billion people depending...

IMA conducting coral reef surveys

BUILDING OCEAN RESILIENCE

A healthy and resilient ocean is one that is readily able to return to a healthy state following disturbance events or even resist the impacts of the disturbance depending on its severity. For example, healthy mangrove forests can effectively reduce the damages of severe storm surge because the thick interconnected root systems stabilise the shore and reduce wave and wind forces. The same root systems create a well-protected refuge for nurseries. Real estate, homes and properties inland are protected by mangrove forests. When healthy forests are damaged, their density might still sustain the habitat and its hydrodynamics as well as provide for regrowth. Similarly,...

Welcoming the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration 2021 – 2030 – #GenerationRestoration

Celebrated annually on June 5th, WED is the United Nations’ flagship day for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment. In keeping with this year’s theme of Ecosystem Restoration, today is also the official launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, which aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean. Yes, you read correctly, a whole decade focusing on ecosystem restoration. Why, what does this mean, especially for the oceans, and how can we get involved?...

The Door to Happiness opens into Nature!

Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once commented, “The door to happiness opens outward.” Given Kirkegaard’s reputation for being somewhat broody, it is doubtful whether he was talking about the literal outdoors. He did not seem like the outdoorsy type. However, to grossly miscontextualise Kirkegaard and to take this quote literally, I agree. The door to happiness does indeed open outward because outward is where we find nature, outward is where we find biodiversity....

Fishing for Cutlassfish

Persons driving into Chaguaramas in December 2020 and January 2021 were greeted with the sight of numerous fishing vessels operating close to shore in the vicinity of Alcoa and in William’s Bay. Enquiries by any curious onlooker would have revealed that they were fishing for “cutlassfish” in the late evenings, nights and early mornings. I myself was intrigued by this activity having never seen so many vessels operating in that area. On one occasion, I counted as many as 80 pirogues. Since then, I have fielded numerous questions from both colleagues and the public about the particulars of this fishery and the role of...

Another ‘Golden Tide’ on our Shorelines

By Rahanna Juman, Director (Ag.)Institute of Marine Affairs For yet another year, massive quantities of Sargassum are seen washing up along our coasts and is causing concerns among fishers and other beach users.   This new source of sargassum is now linked to climate change and ocean eutrophication, and these are likely to continue supporting significant sargassum blooms into the future. As such, annual mass influxes of sargassum into the Caribbean Sea are now being considered as the 'new normal', requiring sustainable management responses and long-term adaptation (Desrochers et al. 2020). Pelagic (free-floating) sargassum, a brown alga from the equatorial Atlantic, comprises a mixture of two or...

The Great Conservation Story Leatherback Turtle Conservation in Trinidad and Tobago: Community and Conservation

This is the third and final part of a three-part series on the Great Conservation of the Leatherback Turtle in Trinidad and Tobago. We last learnt how Nature Seekers started in 1990 with the assistance of the Forestry’s Wildlife Section. Since then, Nature Seekers has continued to grow as a Non-governmental organization (NGO) in membership and recognition both here and abroad. Nature Seekers has been recognised for their great work and contribution to protecting the leatherback turtles, and as an excellent example of how education and a love for these charismatic creatures can change people’s perspective on how to wisely use their natural resources. The...