Preserving Our Coastal Guardians: HYPREP Celebrates World Mangrove Day 2023

The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) stands in unity with the global environmental conservation community to commemorate World Mangrove Day 2023 with the theme “Mangroves for Life”. World Mangrove Day is a momentous occasion to honor and protect the invaluable mangrove ecosystems that safeguard our planet’s coastal environments.

Mangroves, often regarded as the “coastal guardians,” are extraordinary ecosystems that thrive in the intertidal zones of tropical and subtropical coastlines. Embodying an intricate web of life, these unique habitats provide an array of benefits that are crucial to the well-being of our planet and communities. Mangroves are hotspots and sanctuaries for a myriad of flora and fauna. Countless species, including commercial fish, birds, and mammals, rely on mangroves for vital activities such as nesting, breeding, and foraging, making them essential to maintaining the delicate balance of coastal ecosystems. Mangroves are vital carbon sinks, essential for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Unfortunately, it has been estimated that more than three-quarters of the mangroves in the world are now threatened, along with all the aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity that depend on them. The rate of mangrove loss in the Niger Delta, the home of Africa’s largest expanse of mangroves, is alarming. Between 2010 and 2020, the area of mangroves in the Niger Delta decreased from 10,515 ha to 8,240 ha. This calls for concerted efforts to safeguard our mangroves, especially in regions such as the Niger Delta, where livelihoods are primarily dependent on luxuriant and flourishing mangrove ecosystems.

HYPREP plans to restore three thousand (3,000) hectares of oil-degraded mangrove in Ogoniland. This will involve planting about 10 million mangrove seedlings, which will be the world’s largest restoration of oil-degraded mangroves. Much of the mangrove planting will be done following shoreline cleanup delineated into 34 lots. The shoreline cleanup contractors have been mobilized, and the sites will be handed over to them today. More so, pilot plantings of mangroves on approximately 600 ha of shores in Bomu have been awarded to nine contractors. The areas earmarked for immediate mangrove revegetation have been identified through site characterization using the shoreline cleanup assessment technique (SCAT).

HYPREP strongly advocates for the initiation and implementation of a comprehensive mangrove policy. This will fortify conservation and restoration efforts and ensure the sustainable preservation of mangrove ecosystems.

Join us as we celebrate World Mangrove Day 2023, and let us unite our efforts to protect these unparalleled ecosystems. Together, we can make a profound impact on preserving our coastal guardians and securing a sustainable future for all.

Prof. Nenibarini Zabbey

Project Coordinator, HYPREP

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