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Jakarta Post

Mangrove is a vital bioshield and must be protected

  • Jonathan Wootliff

  /   Tue, March 3 2009   /  01:47 pm

This great tropical island nation has around 17,500 islands with a coastline totaling 81,000 kilometers, which is a distance equivalent to twice the circumference of the earth. Indonesia's extensive coastline is home to a quarter of the world's mangroves or 4.5 million hectares of remarkable wetland forests. Mangrove is a catchall name used for a wide variety of trees that grow in tidal seawater areas with some 89 different species found in Indonesia. Like so many things in nature, these watery forests provide essential benefits, as the coastal communities of Aceh are now well aware. Of the approximately 300,000 killed in the tsunami of 26 December 2004, more than 130,000 were from Aceh. With the help of government agencies and environmental organizations, the people of Aceh have been planting new mangroves along their battered shores. Sadly, mangrov...