Collaborative sustainable mangrove management in Southeast Asia amid climate change will be tackled by ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries in a Mangroves Congress on September 4-8, 2017 in Manila.
The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ERDB-DENR) will hold the Second ASEAN Congress on Mangrove R&D with the theme “Sustainable Management of Mangroves in the course of Climate Change”.
The conference comes in light of evidence that mangroves are proven to reduce the impact of disasters.
“Mangrove habitats represent both a vulnerable resource and a potential deterrent to the effects of climate change. Sea level rise poses a major threat to mangrove ecosystems as it induces erosion and weakening of root structures, increased salinity, and mangrove inundation,” according to ERDB.
Mangroves have been recognized to play an important role in combatting storm surges as what has been observed to be severely destructive during the Yolanda typhoon.
“Mangroves are also known to attenuate waves by as much as 75% through its vast underground root networks and high vegetation structural complexity,” according to “Storm Surge Reduction by Mangroves” authored by a team led by Anna L. Mclvor.
Dr. Henry A. Adornado, ERDB Director, said that the Congress will serve as an avenue for the sharing of best practices on mangrove conservation and plantation management among the ASEAN countries.
We will strengthen collaboration and linkages among environment researchers who are now playing a crucial role in this big task of managing the coastal resources and climate change” Adornado said.
Mangrove practitioners, government officials, scientists, and academicians who have conducted research in the ASEAN region will convene to discuss the following major themes: 1) mangrove Ecology, Functions, and Fisheries, 2) Mangrove Restoration and Rehabilitation, 3) Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, and 4) Valuation and Socio-economic studies.
Coastal disasters have occurred as a result of tropical cyclones, tsunamis, landslides, and storms among which are Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines and Tropical Cyclone Komen that caused deaths in the Bay of Bengal affecting Myanmar, India, and Bangladesh in 2015.
“Five hundred sixty three (563) million people in Southeast Asia are concentrated along coastlines measuring 173,251 kilometers long, leaving it exposed to increasing risks including coastal erosion due to climate change and sea level rise,” according to ERDB.
Mangroves are known to protect communities for as long as these have an extent of one kilometer.
“General MacArthur, Eastern Samar, had only less than 100 people died (from Yolanda) due to the mangroves in the area which served as barrier against storm surge,” according to “Saved by the Mangroves: A Philippine town dodges Haiyan’s storm surge.”
Disaster prevention has become a primary program of ASEAN countries with reports of trends on rising temperature in the region by 1-0.3 degrees Celsius per decade from 1951 to 2000 as reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC.
With warmer temperature comes higher sea levels.
“Rainfall has been trending down and sea levels up (at the rate of 1–3 millimeters per year), and the frequency of extreme weather events has increased: heat waves are more frequent,” according to ERDB. (Growth Publishing for ERDB)