Coastal and forest restoration activities have a significant positive impact on several environmental aspects, including soil and water quality, biodiversity and the livelihoods of communities living near these areas. This supports environmental conservation goals and social well-being at both local and global levels.
Impact of Coastal and Forest Restoration Activities:
- Improved soil quality: Coastal and forest restoration can improve soil quality by increasing vegetation diversity and organic matter, and improving soil structure and water-holding capacity.
- Erosion control: Mangrove and forest vegetation can reduce soil erosion through their strong root systems, maintaining soil integrity and protecting coastal areas from abrasion.
- Water purification: Vegetation in forests and mangroves plays a natural role in water filtration. Plant roots can filter pollutants and improve water quality in river and coastal ecosystems.
- Stabilised watersheds: Rainforests and mangroves help regulate water flow patterns, reducing the risk of flooding and providing a more stable water supply downstream.
Preserved habitats: Forest and mangrove restoration activities create and maintain essential habitats for a wide range of plant and animal species, supporting the conservation of rich biodiversity.
Migration and dispersal: Connected forests and mangroves support the movement and dispersal of diverse species, helping to maintain populations and ecosystem connectivity.
Impact of global warming on coastal and marine ecosystems
The phenomena of global warming and ozone depletion due to the increase in excessive greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels, deforestation and other human activities are having a negative impact on the sustainability of coastal and marine ecosystems, including
- Coral reef communities,
- Increased ultraviolet B radiation entering the water, inhibiting the photosynthetic process and the growth of phytoplankton as the main producer and largest absorber of CO2 in marine waters,
- The threat of extinction of marine animals due to increased temperatures and decreased salinity of ocean waters, and
- Sea level rise due to melting ice in the Earth’s polar regions, which can submerge coastal areas and drown small islands.
All have the potential to threaten the sustainability of coastal and marine ecosystems that support human life. For this reason, efforts to reduce the rate of global warming by reducing the use of fossil fuels, reducing high rates of deforestation and minimising other activities that produce excessive greenhouse gas emissions are concrete actions that must be taken immediately, before it is too late.