The loss of Indonesian mangrove forests due to climate change
The loss of Indonesia's coastal mangrove forests for shrimp farming is a huge source of carbon emissions. But equally, a policy flip to preserve and recreate mangroves offers a major climate win. Mangroves are important because of their high rates of tree and plant growth, coupled with anaerobic, water-logged soils that slow decomposition, resulting in large, long-term carbon storage. Mangroves store three to five times more carbon than rainforest.
Preventing the loss of Indonesian mangroves would help in the global fight against climate change, new research shows. The study, published recently in Nature Climate Change, estimated that if Indonesia halts mangrove deforestation it could reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions by between 10% to 31%.
That would be globally significant, since Indonesia is among the world's highest contributors to global emissions - ranked 12th in the world in 2012, according to European Commission figures, behind others led by China, the US and the European Union, and just ahead of Australia.