20 Feb 2020 - Last year, a major United Nations climate report underscored a grim reality: Humanity is pushing the world’s oceans to the brink.
By the end of the century, the report’s authors wrote, more of the world’s seas could be hot, acidic and lifeless — with catastrophic implications for marine life, the climate and for the food security of billions of people.
But as grave as the report’s findings were, experts say, there is reason for hope.
Through ambitious alliances and innovative engineering, conservationists are working tirelessly in 2020 to prevent the UN’s stark warning from becoming reality. Here are three approaches that Conservation International scientists are pioneering to conserve the oceans on a global scale.
Mixing “green” with “gray” to protect coastal communities
Limb for limb, the mangrove is perhaps the most important tree species on Earth.
Around the globe, mangroves provide an estimated US$ 82 billion in flood risk prevention annually for coastal communities and store up to 10 times more carbon per unit area than terrestrial forests — yet nearly half of the world’s mangrove forests have been lost in the past 50 years.
To conserve these carbon powerhouses and the communities they protect from the imminent threats of climate change, Conservation International experts are working to combine mangrove restoration efforts with conventional engineering approaches through a technique called “green-gray” infrastructure.
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