IES webinar - The future of coastal lagoons and why that matters video transcript

Tiffany: Okay excellent. Welcome everyone to this IES webinar the Future of coastal lagoons and why that matters. I'm delighted to be joined by Dr Sian Davies-Vollum, Head of School of the Built and Natural Environment and Head of the Environmental Sustainability Research Center at the University of Derby. Her current research focuses on the sustainability of coastal environments and communities in West Africa and she co-leads the Resilient Lagoon Communities Network she will be talking about today. After Sian’s presentation as usual you'll have the opportunities to ask questions so please do submit these in the Q&A option at the bottom of your screen and you can do this at any point during the presentation and I will then read these out on your behalf later on this webinar is being recorded and will be made available on the IES website and YouTube channel. Thank you so much for logging in today it's great to see so many of you here and thank you to Sian for doing this webinar for us. Over to you Sian.

Sian: Thank you very much Tiffany and I just want to check that my screen is it's been shared and everybody can see that? Well looks good, thank you ,excellent. Well so thank you very much for inviting me and thank you everybody for being here and to start I need to acknowledge my colleagues in the Resilient Lagoon Network so my colleagues in Nigeria and Ghana and Benin without whom this wouldn't be possible and I also need to acknowledge the AMS GCRF grant that supported the work that you're going to hear about today. So I’m going to start with um, a little bit about what lagoons are um and then I’ll talk about um their current state and and their their importance particularly in in West Africa and um some of the solutions to some of the challenges that they're facing. So lagoons are expanses of water found along low-lying coastlines across the world they can vary in size from about a football pitch to um as large as a country and uh that sounds crazy but the Lego de Patos in South America has an area of ten thousand square kilometres which is the same size as Luxembourg so that's a pretty big variation in size. They are um at the nexus between land and sea they're a place where river and ocean life and waters mix so they have a rich biodiversity they are separated from the ocean by a natural sandy barrier which acts as a kind of ocean lagoon dam and that's one of the features that really connects them all and I hope show you that they are critically important coastal environment and the two images you see here are from lagoons in Ghana and Benin. So lagoons are found across the globe um, this map was put together by my colleague in the network and Steve Mitchell at University of Portsmouth and it shows articles or the location of articles about loguin lagoons over the past couple of years and it isn't fully representative it's got a focus around on Europe because that's where most publications have thin but it gives you a sense that there are lagoons everywhere there are more lagoons in West Africa than that one spot shows but it just gives you a sense that lagoons are a global coastal environment. I’m going to tell you a little bit about lagoon formation and morphology over the next couple of slides. So the aerial photograph here shows the Muni lagoon and laguna worked out extensively in Ghana lagoons were formed at the end of the last ice age when sea levels rose. So as sea levels rose sand was transported on shore and then redeposited as barriers at the front of coastal lakes and estuaries so they contained that water and you could you get a sense about that here with the the two rivers that you can see draining into the lagoon and the beach barrier that that basically traps the goon or as a dam between the lagoon and the the ocean. So these lagoon barriers the one that you see in the picture is um is whole but many of them have breaks known as breeches or tidal, tidal inlets which connect the lagoon to the ocean and these breaks or inlets are important as they act as as conduits that allow ocean water and biota to enter and leave the lagoon. So I’m going to focus in on this area that has the blue circle around it and hone in on that to tell you a little bit about the lagoon dynamics.

So these are um again the the Muni lagoon in Ghana and you get a sense of the the lagoon, the tidal inlet or the breech, the connection between the ocean and the lagoon and the beach barrier and what they look like close up. So this connection that the lagoon has with the oceans dynamic and it responds to changes in oceanic and weather conditions. It's important because it controls the volume and chemistry of the lagoon's water and then this has a big influence on the looking ecology and biodiversity. Some lagoons have um barriers for openings that create a permanent connection to the ocean. Some barriers are nearly always closed and are rarely connected to the ocean and others might have a cycle of opening and closing so there's there's quite a lot of variability in that and the other picture here just shows you a tidal delta that sometimes forms around the inlet when you get deposition of sand. So I want to say a little bit a bit a little bit more about that lagoon as a dynamic environment and that lagoon cyclicity. So uh the um that the lagoon barriers as I said can change from whole to breached and vice versa and that's in response to variation in weather conditions, hydrological conditions, availability of sediment and sea level. Some have a seasonal opening and closing cycle um and that opening allows the movement of water in and out of the lagoon and then that results in shifts in water temperature, dissolved oxygen content and concentration of any pollutants that might be in the lagoon. That opening can also alter tidal amplitude, the amount and location of erosion and sediment depositions, so big changes to physical and effects in the lagoon. It can also the opening when it occurs and how it occurs, where it occurs can also have an effect on the incidence mount and location of flooding in and around the lagoon. So such fluctuations and dynamism in the physical environment that can create unstable and sometimes stressful conditions for lagoon organisms at species community and ecosystem level and that might negatively affect their health and productivity or might promote production and increase biodiversity just depending on that the mix of those physical conditions. So then that in turn influences the availability of natural resources including fisheries and that's that's really important for these coastal communities.

So I’m going to tell you a little bit no,w now I’ve talked about the physical environment of lagoons about why lagoons matter and what they're important for and then I’ll go on to focus about lagoons in West Africa. So um lagoons have very high biodiversity and they're often a site of species-rich wetlands and that's true of lagoons around the world and they provide an array of fundamental valuable resources and ecosystem services that are essential to the communities that live around them, whether they're urban communities, rural communities and the broader regions coastal regions. In the global south in particularly they support communities in terms of their livelihood, their well-being and their food security and the sustainability of lagoons then is critical for these coastal communities and the wider regions they support and I’ve just inserted here some of the Sustainable Development Goals that are important for for lagoons to give you that that sense of connection to the SDGS. Now um in discussion with a group of coastal researchers that form the the Lagoon Network um we talked about the the kind of services the ecosystem services that we're going to provide and this was our sort of first pass with everything from history and culture to transportation, livelihoods, natural resources, tourism, fisheries, food security. It just gives you an idea of the breadth of the ecosystem services that lagoons provide and how they're important for very many aspects of coastal communities and coastal environments.

I’m going to shift now to uh look at lagoons in in West Africa so we'll focus specifically on that West African coastline. So um that the map here uh shows the area from um Cote d'Ivoire, Ivory Coast in the west through to um uh the western part of Nigeria doesn't include the the Nigeria Delta um and I’ve located on the map some of the most significant uh lagoons or lagoon areas, however there are more than 200 lagoons along this coastline. I could have extended the map much further around um the western um part of the of Africa here and that this has been the area and focus of our research initially, so so I’m just focusing on this today. So the lagoons along this coastline vary in size as well as their nature of their connection to the ocean. They are they support urban communities and rural communities. I’ll give you an example of the the rural community so you can see uh our circled um Lagos there uh Lagos is situated on the Lekki Lagos lagoon complex in Nigeria and that lagoon complex parallels coastline for approximately 200 kilometres and incorporates a number of separate lagoons. I’m going to talk a little bit more about Lagos later but just to note here it's one of the fastest growing and biggest cities in Africa with population estimates of maybe up to 20 million so that gives you a sense of how important lagoons are in some of these urban environments. There are also many rural lagoons or lagoons that are supporting rural communities in the region and those tend to be smaller and extend from a few to tens of square kilometres and they are all along this region but I’ve pinpointed in red here um those look those areas or those those large urban areas that have lagoons that are supporting them. So all of these lagoons along this West African coastlines have high productivity, high biodiversity um or they would do it in some cases where they have been um uh experienced anthropogenic activity or adverse anthropogenic activity, I should say. The key natural resources of the lagoons are fisheries and mangroves and according to a USA report in 2014, lagoon settings play a key role to the fisheries in the area and been recognised as contributing approximately 400 million dollars annually to the regional economy. So really significant for um, for the economy beyond the communities of the lagoons. Lagoons in this part of the world are facing a variety of threats to their sustainability and what I want to to focus on next is to to discuss those threats to their sustainability. So that's where the next few slides will take us. Firstly climate change, you might have picked up earlier that I mentioned sea level rise and weather and weather cycles and got the sense that climate change is is very impactful to lagoons and it absolutely is. It impacts lagoons in multiple ways, so sea level rise can cause erosion and increase the risk of flood to lagoon communities. Mangroves which would be the primary lagoon vegetation and the key natural defence to sea level rise are increasingly at risk from unsustainable harvesting . So there are there are two challenges right there the sea level rise itself and then the um lack of mangroves or decreasing number of mangroves. Changes to rainfall and temperature patterns have altered that natural lagoon cycle and therefore caused fluctuations in ecosystem functioning. Changes to climate have also affected fish catch and fishing practice and then that has implications for the well-being and livelihood of lagoon fishing communities and the um photos that I’ve, I’ve got here, so the structure that you see there is at a fort in Greater Accra and it's collapsing due to um coastal erosion. The second one with the pictures of palm trees is also at Muni lagoon. The pictures that I’ve shown you previously and um the the barrier lagoon itself is eroding there and you can see that that palm tree collapsing rather dramatically into the lagoon, and then the third picture is a lagoon during the the dry season with the lagoon shore exposed. You can see uh normally that would be covered um uh pretty much by water and you can see that brown colour is the dryness there. So those are sort of climate change related impacts.

I want to talk now about development related impacts. So as I’ve indicated previously many of the fastest growing centres of population in um global south are situated at the coast and as you've seen in that map West Africa the bulk of those West African large urban areas and mega cities are located in and around lagoons. The economic capital of Ivory Coast Abidjan is built around the Ebrie lagoon, the Cauli lagoon um has played a significant role in the development of Ghana’s capital Accra. Half of Benin’s population live in Porto-Novo the capital which is located around Makui lagoon in Togo, Lome the capital is located around lake Togo which is a lagoon and then we've already mentioned Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city in one of the largest cities in Africa which sits on the shores of the Lagos lagoon complex and these areas are all facing population growth. Growth issues of waste problems with waste disposal, sanitation, water quality and unplanned development. Two of the pictures here the one you see with the bridge and with the um houses built on the lagoon are from Lagos lagoon and then the third picture is uh fishing um going fishing community and going out in the lagoon in uh or at the lagoon inlet in um close to Ghana, sorry close to Accra in Ghana.

So what I want to do now is sort of bring some of these issues and problems of lagoons together in a kind of a mind map here. So we've put this together really to kind of illustrate the the variety of challenges and the interconnectedness of challenges that lagoons are facing in West Africa. So you can see there's one side there related to climate change, sea level rise, changes to rainfall changes to ocean water temperature and storminess and the implications of those. Then an area around sanitation, lack of toilets and sanitation infrastructure is problematic in lagoon communities in urban and rural locations. Lack of toilets can force open defecation and that together with poor sewage management causes water pollution and risk to human health. Water quality also impacted by urban runoff pollution from petroleum products and discharge of industrial waste and high in heavy metals. There's a lack of access to effective waste management solutions and the continued use of plastics presents problems for the buildup of solid waste. You can see at the bottom here something around resource management. Lagoons in West Africa provide resources that are really essential to the livelihoods and the well-being and health of the communities so in terms of land, water, wood and sand as a Construction material. Building materials for wood firewood also and population growth and migration is increasing the pressure on those resources and it is also in some cases resulting in conflict.

So I’m going to go to two separate examples now uh to give you a sense and I’ve mentioned both of them um before the Lagos lagoon and in Nigeria and the Muni lagoon in Ghana. But they're these in in mind these these diverse set of challenges to West African lagoon communities as we think about these specific examples. So I’ll start with um Lagos um the large population of Lagos good and actually I should say these photos are all courtesy of my colleague in Lagos, who's part of the Resilient Lagoon Network, um that large population of Lagos depends on the lagoon for its water and a source of cheap and affordable protein in the form of fish. So fish is that the large part diet and food security um around the lagoon. There are two communities that actually live on the lagoon here and you can see a couple of those pictures that show the the the wooden structures that the homes and those two communities are. So it provides for them in terms of their homes but also in terms of their waterways transportation however the other side of Lagos lagoon is the shipping, the industrialisation, the petroleum industry activities and this is causing environmental stress and anthropogenic pollution in the lagoon. In addition to that there are also changes in sea level and rainfall patterns that caused increased flooding in the in the city. so I want to go to Muni lagoon now in um in Ghana. It's a more, it's a rural lagoon so I’m going to give you two examples and another lagoon and aurora lagoon um Winneba is the town on which uh the Muni lagoon is situated and it's about six kilometres west of the crown capital. It's was designated a Ramsar sign the wetlands site of international importance in 1992 because of its habitat diversity it's globally important so as a staging point for migrating water birds and has relatively good water quality and biodiversity compared to many lagoons in the region. However there's a rising population and that is resulting in increasingly polluted runoff into the lagoon and that's reduced water quality and the rising population has also led to impingement of building developments on the lagoon shores, um but in essence it's still relatively pristine although he's experiencing those increasing challenges. However one of the the problems that the lagoon has faced is that originally it was there were mangroves throughout the lagoon and they're virtually now non-existent because they've been used as harvested as firewood and for smoking fish catch. So so that's the the main challenge at Muni lagoon and then this is causing issues for for erosion.

So I’m going to know a little bit more about that erosion and lack of mangroves and sea level rise so this is this is some work I did a few years ago now this shoreline retreat and you can see the two pictures here impacts of erosion over just a couple of years when the lagoon barrier was open and then the main picture there shows some projection of sea level rise that we've done on the barrier with a meter sea level rise just to indicate to you the fragility and the vulnerability of these lagoon barriers. Those black lines show what would remain if if there was a meter of sea level rise although in effect it wouldn't really remain because it's sand and it would get get washed away but just to give you a sense of the vulnerability to sea level rise and the erosion that's going on with increased lagoon opening that this particular lagoon is experiencing, and that orange line I should say shows you the same palm tree between 2014 and 2016 and that loss of lagoon barrier you can that's very obvious there from photos.

Okay so um I’ve talked a lot about problems and challenges. I want to focus now on solutions um so I want to tell you a little bit about the Resilient Lagoon Network. This is a network that um I co-lead with my colleague Isaac Wanting in um in Ghana and uh we're basically we're seeking to provide an international multi-stakeholder platform for tackling the issues that lagoons are facing. We've got an interdisciplinary team of academics and we have experience in a wide range of fields from myself as a Geoscientist through to Social Scientists. We are formed from 15 researchers from Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and the UK representing a number of institutions there and one of our key goals is to facilitate dialogue and knowledge transfer between experts from sciences but then also engineering and education then also having an impact on management and policy making decisions related to lagoons and essentially raising awareness which is which is what I’m here to do today. Our website is there and we can put that in the chat afterwards so we can um get a sense of you can get a sense of some of our work in a bit more detail. So I’ve just kind of shared some of our goals here we were essentially be able to we were able to really come forward as a team as a result of the GCRF grant that started last year. So really one of the key things here is, is a that participatory platform so sharing of expertise, experiences, best practices and then our overall aim is then to develop a framework and toolkit to address the challenges faced by these lagoon communities.

I’m going to uh share with you some some initial results we've got from the first stakeholder conference that we had. I’m conscious of time here so I’ll I won't focus on the slide for too long but I know I need to finish up soon so I’ll talk about um some of the best practices and solutions that come come out of the first stakeholder conference that we held, but I guess before I do that I do want to stress that a network although we're initially made up of academics and researchers we really are trying to reach out and provide that participatory platform and connect policymakers, managers and coastal communities.

So we had our first uh conference at started this month and that conference was essentially it brought together um Environmental Managers, uh some policy makers uh into the same virtual space to talk about the challenges that coastal lagoons were facing and we've collated also I’ve started to collect some of that information and I thought it would be helpful to share with you some of the best practices that were shared at that meeting or or some best practices to to aim for. So these are around building capacity uh making sure that coastal planning is integrated and has a holistic perspective, inclusion of stakeholders those people that live and work around lagoons very important and then there was a real note to improve the collaboration and coordination around the management and the use of uh coastal Lagoons, and then the other um thing that I want to share with you is around some of the solutions that came out of that conference, so um we surveyed participants and listened to them in their discussions and we said well you know what what are the best solutions? what what really needs to happen to address the challenges that coastal lagoons and their communities are facing? And really that one of the key things that came out was around environmental education um for people that live around lagoons, but also particularly for um school children to be able to educate on on lagoons and their their use and their their sustainability and then beyond that a lot of it was around reducing the use of plastics, better waste management and recycling and an understanding of circular economy and supporting livelihoods that were connected or that are connected to the circular economy, and then also around nature-based solutions I’ve already mentioned mangroves. Mangroves are really key in addressing sea level rise and erosion. So these were the sort of key solutions that came out of that that conference and we hope to to follow up um with that um conference in June and then as that the network itself hopefully comes together for a face-to-face meeting in July to start to develop the tool kit and framework that can be used to help manage coastal lagoons and ensure their sustainability.

So I’ve put together here some selected references from colleagues in the Lagoon Network it's by no means exhaustive and there are many other researchers that are working on coastal lagoons these are just uh some some of us in the Resilient Lagoon Network and then I just wanted to thank everybody for listening and then to acknowledge the um the funding we received from the Global Challenges Research Fund and also my colleague, colleagues at University of Education Winneba, which is really the Co-Lead and my colleague and Professor Isaac Writing um in Winneba and hopefully I know that was a quick run around but I know, I know it was a half an hour so I apologise for being rapid and um hopefully there are some some questions.

Tiffany: Thank you so much Sian for that amazing presentation. Really great to hear about um a bit about how lagoons are formed and their importance um and some case studies in West Africa. So yes please do everyone put your questions for Sian um in the Q&A function at the bottom of your screen. We've already got got some here um so I’ll kick off straight away. How would the chemistry of lagoons differ from other types of wetlands or even tidal rock walls for example, for example

Sian: The chemistry changes for a number of reasons so um there's this influx of fresh water for many lagoons, but for streams from streams and rivers and then when the lagoon is open to the ocean there's also an influx of ocean waters, so the salinity can can vary a lot which you know can change chemistry because um compounds can become variously soluble with different salinities. So there's that but also if you're in a um the kind of climate where you have dry season and wet season when that lagoon is closed, you can also have um really quite extreme salinity. So during the dry season when you get evaporation and then that affects the the chemistry as well, so there's really sort of two phases to it and I think that makes them unique and very different to a rock pool or an estuary which has that um sort of flow through of water. There's far more restrictions around a lagoon.

Tiffany: That's really interesting thank you um and how can we apply some of your findings to the UK or Europe?

Sian: Well the lagoons essentially you know work in the same way wherever, wherever, they are but what differs is that sort of that seasonality, uh and and the dry season and that that tropical subtropical environment with the rainy season in the dry season, so there's not quite the same extremes um and I think the difference between West Africa and and Europe is that though those West African communities really do rely on their local resources, so they rely exclusively on well, not exclusively that's good much thing to say but rely on the fisheries to do security, they rely on lagoons when they're, they're not saline for water, they rely on them for their livelihoods so I think that's the difference. But I think in understanding the the physical variation and the um the biological variation of lagoons they're completely, you can transfer that knowledge um to European lagoons. Do you need me to stop sharing my screen or um.

Tiffany: This is completely fine, you can keep it up there if you like. This is a kind of follow-up question um, is a lock a lagoon?

Sian: A lock um like maybe I’m thinking of I’m go my mind's going to the the lock that's in you know the Seattle area in the Pacific Northwest and that connects a coastal lake to the ocean yes but it's far a lock is far more controlled and in some cases the the connection to the lagoon and the ocean has been controlled by by humans. It's been um engineered to be kept open often for transport but many are not and many you know open and closed related to um ocean and and weather conditions but I guess that's a good I’ve never thought of it as a lock. I’ve always thought it was a dam that gets breached but that's interesting, I like that idea.

Tiffany: And what is the projected sea level rise in Western Africa under if you know this under a four degree warming scenario and how is it considered to impact on the lagoons in comparison for example to a two degree warming scenario?

Sian: I don't I’ve not seen that modelling between the two degrees and four degrees. Obviously it will speed up sea level rise. What we looked at was a meter projection because um the estimate said that there could well be a meters sea level rise by the end of this century, so that's why we used it and I think um there's I wouldn't say this this agreement by everyone but there's certainly a strong possibility that we could get a meter sea that rise. I think with four degrees warming it would, it would come sooner than the end of this century but for lagoons essentially you're changing um how they operate because those, those barriers um particularly the one you can see in the picture here I think it shows really well, it's at maximum a meter and a half above sea level so um and most of it is gone and then the lagoon becomes an estuary, which is okay um but we need to live with that and adapt to it. You know on that barrier now there's a fishing community and that's that they live there that's their live that's their livelihood so it's about how we adapt to those changes in lagoons. Now for an urban lagoon um what you're going to see it is if the barrier is completely um urbanized and there are buildings on it you're just going to get increased flooding to the point that you can't live on there in future. So I think I’ve rambled a bit on from that initial question but that that's, that's what would happen with sea level rise and uh um as I say with more rapid warming then that's going to happen sooner.

Tiffany: Interesting thank you um and are some of the climate change threats things like stratification and then anoxia in lagoons?

Sian: Um yes they would be but I think what we've seen in these West African lagoons is that the cyclicity you would get some of that anyway in that cyclicity between the rainy season and the dry season as you get evaporation um and less input you know less freshwater input um but what has happened what we've seen is that the, the rainy seasons are not operating in the same way, they're not as reliable so that cyclicity has been changing so the rainy season might come come later or um or it might be shorter and that's that's the change. You would see some stratification anyway at the height of the dry season but we're losing that um ability to we're losing that that cyclicity and we're shifting the the timing and extent of rainy season and dry season, which is really significant for the communities that live here because their fishing season and their fishing is totally connected to that.

Tiffany: That's really interesting, thank you. Is it possible to clean up lagoons in West Africa from waste chemicals and sewage in the short term or is this more of a long-term issue?

Sian: I think it, well this is going to be a cop-out answer, I think it depends on the nature of the pollution and the size of the lagoon. So the Muni lagoon here um was suffering from poor water quality and then the lagoon opened to the ocean and there was a natural flushing. So with those small lagoons um I think it's feasible and in some cases you can engineer that opening. With the larger lagoons like the Lagos Leki complex it is more, it is more difficult and the pollution is not just urban runoff it's, it's some pollution from the petroleum industry, so then that was requiring legislation which is longer term you know, you can't just go in there and flush out the lagoon as you can in that the small um Muni lagoon here. So that's longer term.

Tiffany: Interesting um and actually there's a small question related to that which is how close are the rural communities to Muni lagoon?

Sian: Well you can see the picture here with the um the palm, the palm trees, that's the lagoon barrier and there's a fishing community there that lives on the lagoon barrier, so it's right there and then in the far distance. On that picture you can see that that shoreline and there's increasing um increasing number of people living along the shoreline there but they're really and you saw the pictures in Lagos where people are living in the lagoon on still houses right.

Tiffany: You mentioned legislation before in terms of kind of long-term solutions um the EU has directives in place to help protect their lagoons is there anything in place at the moment in West Africa to try and reduce challenges faced by lagoons?

Sian: There are there's varying, there's varying policy um some of it is broadly environmental policy some of it is wetland associated um the challenge is the implementation of policy and it's it's getting that top-down policy actually being realised at local level and that's part of the, the part of what we're trying to do by the lagoon. In the Lagoon Network is to create that connectivity because that that's been a challenge and to also raise awareness of the fact that some of that legislation is really not um impacting in the way that it should be. But it's it's that bottom up meets top down which is so important in when you've got communities that are entirely dependent on their their local resources and local environment. It's difficult to fix we're hoping that we can have something road but it's difficult.

Tiffany: Definitely an implementation is the challenge being faced among so much legislation at the moment.

Sian: And you know the finance is challenging as well when you're working in West Africa and actually having the resources to be able to implement.

Tiffany: There's a question related to that actually which is, is any international finance for example as a result of COP 26 being allocated to increase climate resilience of lagoons, particularly those are in close proximity to coastal communities?

Sian: I don't know of anything specific World Bank did do um uh uh an analysis and there's a big report that includes a number of West African countries so they put some resources into that. I don't know of anything specific you know, I mentioned Ramsar there's some resources associated with with Ramsar and Muni has um benefited from those but again it's that is that that longevity and keeping the the resource going and ensuring that that management is followed through.

Tiffany: And has the network studied the challenges between the conservation of lagoons and infrastructure projects in the region relating to coastal erosion for example?

Sian: No, no we haven't we haven't done that um that the initially it was to bring up uh bring the group together. We have various sort of individual and some collaborative research projects going on. I think so the question about infrastructure, I think that's quite some of the hard engineering structures are quite challenging and problematic I know a little of them in Accra there aren't any in many lagoon here I mean those rural areas don't have that but some of the urban areas do do have infrastructure that is is difficult in terms of sea level rise and addressing that. I’m not sure I answered that very well.

Tiffany: That's perfect thank you. Um and the final question thank you so much for answering so many of our questions today and great time yes. Does your work link within the inland initiatives for example around firewood to protect mangroves um and would land side climate change effects on vegetation put additional pressure on the mangrove?

Sian: Um we, we've so I I think, I think it there, I think it varies on on lagoon so can you can you just run that by me again because there were two bits to that and I think I got caught up in the last bit.

Tiffany: Of course um does your work link with inland initiatives for example um I guess reducing people's collecting mangroves for firewood in which case kind of protecting mangroves?

Sian: So, so I’ll answer that one first and what's happened to Muni lagoon is that that's what's happened is that there's there is firewood that now comes into the area and there is replanting at lagoon. It's been variably successful. There's been re-harvesting of that um but there's also the issue of where that inland firewood comes from so it's really difficult but the the alternative is just to try and find um a different type of um uh uh cooking uh facility like like solar ovens that's the best way forward, and then the second one and I know running out of time but um.

Tiffany: And that would be would land side climate change effects on vegetation put additional pressure on the mangroves?

Sian: Landslide did you say?

Tiffany: Land side um so climate change effects on um some kind of terrestrial ecosystems?

Sian: Yeah, yeah maybe I mean that the challenge is well, I think that he's supporting the the mangroves because they are really critical to the lagoons. Um yes you can put up um coconut palms here um and they're helpful but it's the mangroves that really need the focus because they're going to do the most work.

Tiffany: Thank you so much Sian. It's really interesting to hear about the connection between mangroves and lagoons because um mangroves are often cited of course as a nature-based solution but you don't hear about the kind of lagoons which obviously are foundational for this. So thank you so much for that presentation and for answering all those questions and thank you to all attendees for watching I hope you all found that as interesting as I did.


IES webinar - The future of coastal lagoons and why that matters video

Back to Coastal Lagoon Webinar