alexa Suggestions for the Conservation and Rehabilitation of Nigeria's Mangrove Ecosystem
ISSN: 2157-7625

Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography
Open Access

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Review Article

Suggestions for the Conservation and Rehabilitation of Nigeria's Mangrove Ecosystem

Francis M Nwosu* and Sieghard Holzlӧhner

Institute of Oceanography, University of Calabar, PMB 1115, Calabar, Nigeria

*Corresponding Author:
Nwosu FM
Institute of Oceanography, University
of Calabar PMB 1115, Calabar, Nigeria
Tel: +234-8038355564
E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

Received date: December 30, 2015 Accepted date: January 22, 2016 Published date: January 30, 2016

Citation: Nwosu FM, Holzlohner S (2016) Suggestions for the Conservation and Rehabilitation of Nigeria’s Mangrove Ecosystem. J Ecosys Ecograph 6:178. doi:10.4172/2157-7625.1000178

Copyright: © 2016 Nwosu FM, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

 

Abstract

Nigeria has an estimated mangrove area of 10,515 Km2, which forms about 5.8% of world total mangrove area, and the largest in Africa. Nigeria also ranks fourth among the eight countries where large mangrove reserves still exist, behind Indonesia, Brazil and Australia. With the exception of Nigeria, these countries with very large areas of mangroves have significant number of mangrove protected areas while still promoting mangrove afforestation and reforestation projects. Nigeria, on the contrary, has no gazetted mangrove-protected areas, neither are there mangrove restoration projects at present. Global forests including mangroves are depleting at an alarming rate. Climate change and its impacts are evident in our country. It is common knowledge that mangrove ecosystem offers great resilience to climate change impacts. It is also common knowledge that coastal regions are most vulnerable to climate change effects. Therefore, policy and legislation are urgently needed for the conservation and restoration of Nigeria’s mangrove ecosystem, which not only supports rural livelihoods but also provides protection from climate change-related hazards, especially of ocean origin. Such policies and legislations will establish implementation strategies including inventory of the mangrove resources, developing the framework for a “National Mangrove Park”, instituting mangrove restoration programmes with requisite monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, and promoting community awareness. Community-based approach has been adjudged the most successful in natural resources conservation globally, and is therefore recommended for this proposal. Keywords: Mangrove; Ecosystem; Restoration; Conservation; Climate change; Nigeria Introduction Mangroves are known to occupy the tropical and subtropical belts of the world. The mangrove ecosystem is both dynamic and fragile. In many countries of the tropics, coastal livelihoods are supported through utilization of the resources provided by this unique ecosystem. This ecosystem has the highest biological diversity compared to any part of the sea. It is estimated to contribute about 25% of global biological productions [1]. Azariah and Govindasamy [2] reported that more than 2145 species of plants and animals have been identified in this ecosystem on worldwide basis. The mangrove ecosystem is also known to support most of the world’s [3]. It provides excellent pedagogic and research resources. Above all, the role of mangroves (one of the so-called blue carbon ecosystems) in climate change mitigation in terms of carbon sequestration is significant [4-6]. Also, the role of mangroves in coastline protection against sea-level rise and storm surges is unique [7,8]. However, since the end of World War II, new technologies and methodologies have been introduced to achieve greater financial returns from mangrove areas, providing quick gains at the cost of permanent wealth [9]. Hence, mangroves are being overexploited for various industrial, domestic and medicinal uses. The immediate outcome of mangrove habitat destruction and/or modification is the decline of biodiversity. Unfortunately, the rate of destruction is still ahead of conversation and management for longterm sustained production. Protection of mangroves means protection of biodiversity, and sustained provision of the various socioeconomic needs and services, but any loss of biodiversity is an irrevocable loss. The present paper

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