Soziale Dynamiken in Küsten- und Meeresgebieten

Mangrove planting as coastal protection and adaptation to climate change – a community
activity in Ambo, Kiribati - by Silja Klepp with photographs by Barbara Dombrowski

The women that plant mangroves in the Lagoon of South Tarawa, in the village of Ambo, are part of the Kiribati Climate
Action Network (KiriCan). They are volunteers. After a long season of planting the saplings in the lagoon, of which only
a part will root, the women are having a community party in the Maneba (community house) of Ambo.

Frau mit Setzlingen Mangroven

Mangrove planting is an anticipatory adaptation action and a so-called soft coastal protection measure. It is undertaken
to buffer coastal environments to reduce the vulnerability of coastal communities from the effects of climate change,
including more severe storms and sea-level rise. Compared to hard protection measures, like sea walls, it is often
more sustainable and provides employment to the communities. Today mangrovs are threatened by anthropogenic
climate change and other human activities. Current and future changes in sea-level, storminess, rain, temperature,
atmospheric CO2 concentration, ocean circulation patterns can all mean danger to mangroves. To date, climate
change has likely been a smaller threat to mangroves compared to clearing for aquaculture, coastal development
and pollution of coastal waters. Based on available evidence, of all the climate change outcomes, sea-level rise may
be the greatest threat in the future.

Setzlinge Pflanzaktion

Healthy mangrove forests not only mean coastal protection, but a great benefit also comes from the resources provided
by mangrove forests. Mangroves perform valuable regional and site-specific functions. Mangrove loss will reduce coastal
water quality, reduce biodiversity, eliminate fish and crustacean nursery habitat, adversely affect adjacent coastal habitat,
and eliminate a major resource for human communities that rely on mangroves for numerous products and services.
Reduced mangrove coverage and health will increase the threat to human safety and shoreline development from coastal
hazards such as erosion, flooding, storm waves and surges, and tsunami, as some scientists have observed following
the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Mann mit Mangroven                                        Cutting mangroves

Mangrove ecosystems were able to persist through the quaternary despite substantial disruptions from large sea-level
fluctuations, demonstrating that mangroves are highly resilient to change over historic time scales. However, over the
coming decades, mangrove vulnerability and responses to climate change will be highly influenced by anthropogenic
disturbances. Mangrove cover on Pacific Islands have been reduced substantially in recent years. Adaptation measures
like mangrove planting can offset anticipated mangrove losses and improve resistance and resilience to climate change.
Coastal planning can adapt to facilitate mangrove migration with sea-level rise. With the replanting of mangroves and
trees, it is hoped that South Tarawa, the capital and urban aggregation of Kiribati, will be protected from sea level rise,
and king tides, as well as acting as future sources of fuelwood and building construction materials and fish breeding

Mangroven Mongrovenpflanzen

Based on texts written by Eric L. Gilman (IUCN, Global Marine Programme, Honolulu, USA) and Alia
Levine and Bonnie Flaws (Dev-Zone, Wellington, New Zealand).


Go to: Sea Walls Gone Wrong