Mangrove management for climate change adaptation and sustainable development in coastal zones

Chow, J. | Journal of Sustainable Forestry | 2017 | Peer Reviewed | Original research |


Due to their prevalence in developing countries and the range of ecosystem services they provide, projects aimed at promoting mangroves align with several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals—specifically Goals 13, 14, and 15—which concern adaptation to climate change and the sustainable management of forest and coastal resources. Although mangroves themselves are sensitive to climate change, they also provide services that would help reduce damages, by sequestering carbon, enhancing coastline stability, and protecting coastal settlements from tropical storm surges. In particular, mangroves can rapidly colonize and stabilize intertidal sediments, promoting coastal accretion to reduce the impact of sea level rise. The Government of Bangladesh has established mangrove plantations with the intent to accelerate accretion and stabilize 120,000ha of coastland. As a case study, this paper uses GIS data on coastal dynamics and land cover to evaluate the effectiveness of mangrove plantations for facilitating accretion and preventing erosion in Bangladesh. The results indicate that plantation areas experience greater rates of accretion relative to erosion than non-plantation areas, confirming that mangroves have an important role to play in the sustainable development of coastal regions.