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IMA > Updates B&ERP

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,...

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....

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...

The Great Conservation Story of the Leatherback Turtle in Trinidad and Tobago: Collaboration, Community and Conservation

It is 10 pm and the moonlight is beaming in the horizon and the waves are crashing onto the shores of the North East Coast of Trinidad. There in the distance, what looks like a rock in the water, is not a rock at all but an ancient gentle giant of the sea – a female leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)- slowly making her way up the beach to begin digging a hole to lay her eggs. As this majestic creature lays her eggs, I will continue the great conservation story about the leatherback turtle in Trinidad and Tobago. As mentioned in Part One of...