Mr. Balertey Gormey, Project Officer of the Coastal Resources Centre, a non-governmental organisation, on Wednesday said protecting wetlands and mangroves was crucial in reducing the impact of global warming and climate change.
He said research had shown that mangroves had more capacity to absorb carbon dioxide than the normal forest tree could do, therefore it was necessary to protect and preserve them in order to maintain a naturally harmonized environment.
Mr Gormey told the GNA in an interview to mark world Environment Day said though the global theme was: Green Economy: Does it include You?” his organization had carved another theme: “Wetlands equal to More Fish and More Food” to highlight the important role wetlands and mangroves played in the socio-economic lives of the people.
He said destroying wetlands and cutting mangroves for fishing was not only destroying the environment but also disturbing the natural habitat of aquatic lives particularly those in the sea.
Mr. Gormey said studies in South-East Asia showed that the impact of the tsunami was minimal due to the availability of mangroves and wetlands that served as natural flood control system adding, “They also can control sea erosion”.
He said one phenomenon was the cutting down of mangroves by fishmongers for smoking fish. “Harvesting mangroves for fishing meant entirely destroying wetlands and stopping the growth of fish species”.
Mr Gormey said wetlands were natural breeding grounds for most fishes in the sea and thus its destruction meant depleting fish stock.
“The lives of migratory birds which ensures biodiversity is also affected when such natural facilities are destroyed”, he said.