Posted by Dave Collins on August 11, 2007, 2:40 pm, in reply to "Re: Laguna Navidad Mangrove Saved--For Now"
Once again, thank you for the support. I think that this event marks a hopeful turning point on the Costalegre regarding unchecked irresponsible development that does not take environmental and social consequences into consideration. |
The development company in question is called Sea Way, and the proposed development is called Isla Primavera. It is my hope, in this case and in general, that a compromise can be reached between development and the environment--a compromise that ensures continued economic growth while preserving critical natural resources such as mangroves. This is one of the aims of Tierralegre.
Concerning mangroves: They are an endangered ecosystem globally--50% have already been destroyed. In Mexico 75% of coastal mangroves have been destroyed. Mangroves are valuable natural capital. They provide the following ecological services: 1) natural filtration of sediments and contaminants (this is especially important for the survival of coral reefs, another extremely important ecosystem, because mangroves filter the water before it hits the ocean); 2) natural protection from floods and hurricanes; 3) habitat and breeding/nursery grounds for marine organisms, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians; 4) Food production (mangroves are especially important for maintaining healthy fisheries, and for exporting necessary nutrients to coral reefs); 5) stabilization of coastlines (they diminish the constant rate of erosion); 6) recreation.
Calculating all these ecological services into a dollar amount leads us to the following conclusion: annually, mangroves are worth $18,274 (U.S. dollars) per hectare; over their lifetime, they are worth $1 million/hectare. These are critical equations to make when considering transforming a mangrove from its natural state into something else.
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