Mangrove: My Favorite Type of Wetland

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Have you always wanted to boost your account on social media? If your answer is yes, try taking pictures in the green scenery of the mangrove vegetations in Pantai Indah Kapuk, Jakarta.
“But wait,” you might ask, “why mangroves? Seriously?”

The aesthetic scenery is calming — with the soothing wind blowing and the shade of vibrant-colored umbrellas sheltering visitors from the sunshine — making it perfect for photo-taking. To add to that, the mangrove vegetations help raise awareness of the importance of mangroves. When schools hold field trips in the place, for example, students will engage in mangrove planting activities. This will help them be more mindful of the conditions of mangroves.

We need to know what mangroves are, first. Mangrove forests are wetland ecosystems in coastal areas. The forest consists of trees that can live in environments containing high salinity (amount of salts dissolved in water). Mangroves do not grow on beaches with strong tidal currents as this prevents the removal of mud from sand.

These forests are of great benefit to humans because they protect shorelines from storms, hurricane winds, waves, and floods. They help prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled root systems, maintain water quality and filter out pollution. Plus, mangroves store higher carbon levels compared to other types of ecosystems.
In total, scientists have estimated that a mangrove forest is worth $194,000 per hectare.

Mangroves also offer many opportunities for recreational activities (as with the mangrove vegetations in Jakarta), such as walking, boating, birdwatching, and, of course, taking photos. The presence of fascinating life forms makes mangrove forests enchanting to visit.

Looking at the many benefits of these ecosystems, these things explain why the mangrove forests native to my country, Indonesia, are my favorite type of wetland.

Sadly, the lives of mangroves are on the decline. Analyzing high-resolution satellite imagery, researchers in UK and Singapore universities concluded that the world has lost over one-third of its mangroves (with 16 species living in mangrove ecosystems threatened with extinction) since the 1980s and 1990s. Southeast Asian countries, especially Myanmar, Sumatra, Indonesian Borneo, and Malaysia have the highest rates of mangrove deforestation in the world, owing to the increasing demand in the aquaculture, rice and palm oil industries.

The only way to stop mangrove vegetations from further destruction is to do the exact opposite of what humans are doing to the ecosystems — reforestation. Organizations such as Rainforest Rescue and Journey Nicaragua have planted over 300,000 mangrove trees in the course of 5 years. Mangrove.org developed their own REM Mangrove Reforestation Technology, which has drastically improved the ability to halt ecological degradation, promote sustainable development and increase biodiversity.

If we stop destroying these ecosystems, it would greatly help in the decades-long fight against climate change.
If Indonesia — having lost over 50% of their mangroves since the 1980s and ranking 12th in the world’s global emissions — halts mangrove deforestation, it could reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions up to 31%.

Personally, I hope that more green-scenery mangrove forests like the one in Pantai Indah Kapuk will appear more in Indonesia, which can potentially raise awareness in the younger generation for the environment and nature. Taking small steps from a young age will make a big difference in the future. No matter how small planting in the mangrove vegetations might seem — if millions of young children nurture the vegetations, it will make their future a brighter and greener one.

Eventually, nature teaches us that everything has a purpose, including mangroves. Before we destroy these ecosystems (and nature altogether), we need to realize its importance and prevent human actions from disrupting harmony in nature.

In the meantime, take awesome pictures at the mangrove vegetations. You’re going to need these #bomb #greenery pictures for your Instagram account. It’ll make your feed look amazing. Don’t forget to tag @mangrovepik. Let’s all join together to save the planet for a better future.
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