CBD COP11: Mangroves stronger than concrete against tidal surges

Rio Pavilion Conventions TV, CBD COP11 (12/10/2012) – Biswajit Roy Chowdhury of the Natural Environment & Wildlife Society explains the potential of mangroves to provide protection from flooding and a livelihood for rural communities in the Bay of Bengal.

Chowdhury begins by explaining the current system of protection for the islands of the Bay of Bengal, consisting of an enormous mud embankment that regularly needs to be reinforced as it is worn down.

Chowdhury contends that mangroves can complement the embankment, dissipating the strength of tidal surges before they reach it. He describes mangroves as a potential bio-shield for the Bay of Bengal.

He also asserts that mangroves are a biodiversity hub, providing a habitat for shellfish such as prawn, shrimp and crabs and a nesting-ground for a species of Himalayan bumblebee. He sees the livelihood thereby created for local people in fishing and honey collecting as another key reason to plant mangroves.