What it's about:
In developing countries, extreme weather not only inflicts immediate damage - it also prevents communities from accumulating the income and wealth necessary to initiate sustainable economic development.
There are many creative initiatives underway in developing countries to address this. Mangrove trees are one of them.
One example of where this is working is in Cendi Manik village on eastern Indonesia’s Lombok island. This is a village of about 6,200 people. It regularly suffers flooding and agricultural losses.
World Neighbors, a small NGO, is working with 35 of the most disaster-prone villages in eastern Indonesia, including Cendi Manik. Communities are implementing a flooding resilience plan. Its centerpiece: Planting 11,000 mangrove trees.
Mangroves provide a protective shield against tidal flooding. While they do not completely prevent it, they greatly reduce its impact on crops and other sources of livelihood.
The 11,000 mangroves planted in Cendi Manik caught the attention of Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries. It selected Cendi Manik as the sole recipient from Lombok island of its national ‘One Million Mangrove’ program. The community received funding to procure and plant 120,000 mangrove seedlings covering 24 acres of critical coastline.
In addition to mitigating flooding, mangroves increase the supply of fish, shrimp, crabs and shellfish for the village’s fishermen. This increases incomes, while also providing a critical source of food when flooding and other disasters destroy crops.
20 mangroves also have eco-tourism potential. Cendi Manik has built facilities to accommodate tourists, and in October 2016 held a mangrove youth camp to introduce mangrove ecotourism to the region and to the general public.
Why it's noteworthy:
Washington D.C. is experiencing the hottest October since 1872. Houston was flooded, Florida was severely damaged, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are devastated. India and Nepal have seen floods that killed many and left thousands homeless and without work. Wildfires are sweeping California.
Extreme weather is here. And it’s causing accelerating suffering and economic dislocation.
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