Restoring mangroves to combat climate change in Africa
Africa’s major mangrove forests have been drastically reduced in recent decades
MOMBASA, Kenya — In a bid to protect coastal communities from climate change and encourage investment, African nations are increasingly turning to mangrove restoration projects, with Mozambique becoming the latest addition to the growing list of countries with large scale mangrove initiatives.
Mozambique follows efforts across the continent — including in Kenya, Madagascar, Gambia and Senegal — and is touted as the world’s largest coastal or marine ecosystem carbon storage project. Known as blue carbon, carbon captured by these ecosystems can sequester, or remove, carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at a faster rate than forests, despite being smaller in size.
Mozambique’s mangrove restoration project — announced in February alongside its UAE-based partner Blue Forest — hopes to turn 185,000 hectares (457,100 acres) in the central Zambezia and southern Sofala provinces into a forest which could capture up to 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide, according to project leaders.
“Blue carbon can be utilized not only to sequester tons of carbon dioxide but to also improve the lives of coastal communities,” Vahid Fotuhi, the Chief Executive officer of Blue Forest, told the Associated Press. “There are around one million hectares of mangroves forests in Africa. Collectively they’re able to sequester more carbon dioxide than the total annual emissions of a country like Croatia or Bolivia.” He added these projects would create green jobs and promote biodiversity.
Africa’s major mangrove forests have been decimated in recent decades due to logging, fish farming, coastal development, and pollution, leading to increased blue carbon emissions and greater exposure of vulnerable coastal communities to flooding and other threats to livelihood.
Mozambique’s mangrove restoration project — announced in February alongside its UAE-based partner Blue Forest — hopes to turn 185,000 hectares (457,100 acres) in the central Zambezia and sout…
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