Seagrass beds and mangrove forests are part of the coastal vegetation that protects the coastal areas from strong winds and waves. They act as natural barriers or also referred to as a bioshield that reduce wave energy.
CCEF participated in the National Seagrass-Mangrove Bioshield Conference held in the University of the Philippines – Marine Science Institute on May 26 – 27, 2016. The objectives of the conference were to consolidate local and current data and information on the efficacy of seagrass and mangroves in mitigating impacts of climate variability & biodiversity loss; and to provide a stage for the formulation of a national blue carbon strategy focused on conserving the ‘bioshield’ functions of these ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems. CCEF presented a poster on its mangrove project in Liloan, Cebu under the session on “Ecosystem Services and Improved Coastal Conservation”.
The conference was also a venue for sharing new studies as well as best practices on mangrove plantations and recommendations for improving management. One of the highlighted issues of great concern was the observation of mono-specific, particularly Rhizophora species, mangrove rehabilitation in different areas in the Philippines. One study presented their result that in Rhizophora plantations; trees located in the periphery have a higher survival rate than those in the core. A common concern also raised was that there was still a need to campaign for science based mangrove rehabilitation. Another highlight of the conference was the importance of seagrass and mangroves in climate change mitigation through their carbon sequestration capacity. Carbon sequestered from seagrass and mangroves is called “blue carbon”.
Camillia Jane Bollozos