Myth of green belts

Baird, Andrew (2006) Myth of green belts. Samudra Report, 44. pp. 14-19.

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Abstract

[Extract] One of the most pervasive myths following the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami is that healthy ecosystems, such as coastal forests and coral reefs, reduced the damage to coastal communities. Partly on the basis of this myth, governments throughout the region are enthusiastically embracing the planting of mangrove forests as a natural defence against future tsunamis. Vast sums of money are at stake; for example, IUCN-The World Conservation Union is promoting "Mangroves for the Future", a Euro38-mn (US$48.5-mn) programme that aims to build natural barriers of mangroves in 12 countries in Asia and Africa. If saving lives in future tsunamis is the real purpose of these schemes, then every euro may be wasted. In this article, I briefly review the evidence for the effectiveness of green belts, and conclude that there is, in fact, no good empirical, theoretical or analytical support for the hypothesis that coastal forests provide meaningful protection from tsunamis.

Item ID: 18132
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 1016-5568
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2011 02:29
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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