Monday, October 10, 2011

Restoring mangroves may give Suriname carbon credits

Marvin Hokstam in Alertnet: The seawall that is supposed to protect the muddy coastline of coconut district Coronie, in the country's north, is almost complete. Standing some 10 meters above sea level, the wide dam provides a scenic drive, with virginal land on both sides and fish-filled channels cutting through it - a dream habitat for wildlife.

But this idyllic situation may not last long. According to University of Suriname professor Sieuwnath Naipal, much of the land on the ocean side of the 15-km-long dam will disappear in 20 years, abandoned as unsalvageable as the country focuses on forming a barrier against the waves that are eroding Coronie District’s coastline.

The dam, which contractors started building two years ago, sits about 100 meters inland; everything between it and the sea is sacrificed to the waves. Already, about 50 meters of the road to the dyke has disappeared, chewed away by the constant barrage of salt water. “That’s a part of our country we already lost,” Naipal says, shaking his head.

The solution to preventing similar losses, Naipal says, is his mangrove reintroduction project, which he believes will save the land that others have given up on. As it does so, the project could also turn out to be a groundbreaking money-earner for Suriname, potentially making the country tens of millions of dollars from the carbon-compliance market....

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