resilience starts with information
Why mangroves matter for the resilience of coastal communities
In 2006, I was working in Aceh, Indonesia (with the Red Cross), a region devastated by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Amongst other post-disaster recovery activities, we were working with 20 coastal communities, helping them with community-managed small grants and encouraging them to invest in disaster resilience within their communities.
To my delight, all 20 communities, independently, chose to invest in the restoration of their mangroves that had been completely or partially destroyed by the tsunami. To them, losing their mangroves was like losing their ancestors: Mangroves defended them, provided them with food and a livelihood, and made their coastline beautiful. The mangroves were their pride, and reclaiming the…
The scene is as familiar as it is tragic: A devastating hurricane or earthquake strikes a populated area in a poor country, inflicting a high number of casualties, overwhelming the resources and capacity of rescue teams and hospital emergency rooms.
First responders must resort to “triage” – the medical strategy of maximizing the efficient use of existing resources to save lives, while minimizing the number of deaths….
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