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IMA > Updates B&ERP

Making believers out of sceptics: Wetland’s Hidden Treasures

by Attish Kanhai “What about the area in front of Five Islands Amusement park?” was the suggestion from a colleague as we planned our activities for World Wetlands month (February 2022). “I don’t know, is there nice?” came my sceptical reply. “Well there’s a lot of birds and the place is quite scenic,” was the subtle retort. I remained unconvinced and with some trepidation, I prepared for a site visit. Granted it was five minutes away from the office and I am not much of a bird watcher, “How bad could it be?” I thought to myself. To my knowledge, much of the coastline in the western peninsula...

Massive Sargassum Influx on Caribbean Shorelines linked to Climate Change: Hazard or Hope

By Dr. Rahanna Juman, Director (Ag.) and Wetlands Ecologist For yet another year, massive quantities of Sargassum are seen washing up along Caribbean coasts. This unprecedented, massive, episodic influxes of floating sargassum seaweed on coastlines was first observed in 2011 and has had significant negative impacts, particularly on coastal communities and livelihoods, public health, tourism and fisheries (UNEP 2021).  This issue therefore represents an emerging hazard for a region that is already subject to numerous hazards and indeed, various countries in the Caribbean have declared national states of emergency with respect to sargassum influxes (Desrochers et al. 2020). This new source of sargassum is likely...

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,...

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,...