Monitoring and Rehabilitation of Mangroves by Youth Councils.
Potential mangrove reforestation area.
Tsunami-prone archipelagic developing countries, like the Philippines, don't have coastal
protection infrastructure such as concrete seawalls. Residents along the coasts therefore rely on
natural barriers like mangrove forests for protection against giant waves. There are several
numerical and physical model studies that support the mitigating capabilities of mangroves for
tsunamis. Mangroves can provide additional drag against wave energy through their trunks,
leaves, root systems, and pneumatophores. Mangroves can also promote the stabilization and
establishment of coastal soil with their complex root systems, which can reduce wave impacts
further inland. Unfortunately, mangroves are being threatened with destruction caused by the
commercial and residential development of coastal land. The decline of Philippine mangroves has
been due to the exploitation of mangroves for fuel wood and the conversion of coastal areas to
agriculture, industry, and settlements.
Mangrove degradation in the Philippines is anticipated to continue. With the treat of a tsunami looming and mangroves being further degraded, mangrove conservation and rehabilitation is imperative for residents of coastal cities like Pagadian in Mindanao, Philippines. This can be an excellent opportunity especially for the youth to make significant contributions. In the Philippine local governance system, there is one youth council in each of its 42,029 villages (barangays).
In Pagadian, 12 out of its 54 villages are along the coast. This means that there are 12 youth councils that can contribute in saving and propagating the mangroves in their villages. To help protect the remaining mangroves of the city and to help in reforestation efforts, the youth councils can do the following: assist in the initial assessment of the current condition of mangroves in their village; help in selecting appropriate mangrove species and reforestation sites based advice from experts and on available references and guidebooks; and share the importance of mangroves to residents of their village in order to convince them to join mangrove conservation and rehabilitation efforts. This proposed project will strive to create opportunities and spaces for youth councils to be actively involved in the monitoring and rehabilitation of the mangroves of their village with financial help from the Takagi Fund for Citizen Science and from the experts among the project team members who will contribute their knowledge, time, and effort pro bono in order to mentor the youth council members and other young people in the coastal villages to be citizen scientists.
Final Report (abstract)