Mangroves have shrunk by a third in 30 years

A university researcher told Lusa today (Wednesday) that the area of ​​Macau’s mangrove forest, which can filter SAR waters, has shrunk by a third in the past three decades.

“There were 60 hectares in the 1990s, now there are about 19 hectares, more concentrated in parts of Taipa, Cotai and Coloane.

Environmental engineer Cristina Caleros, a lecturer at the institution, explained that the pressure of urbanization has destroyed them, but there is now a major effort by the authorities to reforest these areas in cooperation with the University of São José.

“A mangrove forest is like a natural water treatment plant. They are saline-used ecosystems and help purify water, to remove pollutants, heavy metals, and act as support for water disinfection,”

Christina Caleros stressed that mangrove forests are a key ecological contribution with benefits including phytoremediation, as they are carbon sequestration agents and nesting places, but also on an economic level because these forests are “maternal areas for fish, crabs, bivalves and other marine animals”.

In other words, he concluded, “It is an example of how Macau embraces nature-based solutions.

In addition to preserving wetlands and mangrove forests, other responses should be made in Macau, he said, where authorities can set an example.

Solutions that also include actions in buildings, such as creating vertical gardens and green roofs, because, as the Vice President of the National Green Roof Association said, “what is done at the building level and on the ground has a direct impact on the sea”, giving an example of the management and policies of plastic, one of the pollutants principal in the oceans.

Macau, one of the world’s most densely populated regions, has faced “the kind of pressures that we’re seeing worldwide” from “increasing urbanization, surface closures, coastal degradation, air and water quality, and a lack of green space”.

With the added problem of climate change, more extreme conditions, and more sudden precipitation events, urban runoff going to the sea affects water quality, requiring investment in sanitation and drainage in a territory that must also take into account the potential factor of pollution from neighboring areas. .

The University of São José has also encouraged environmental awareness/education actions to respond to the need to involve everyone in the same mission, in line with the conviction that it is essential to have a “global view of the problem,” he insisted.

In the end, he concluded, “It is necessary to bet on environmental literacy.” And “be a role model,” he added.

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