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Philippines lost at least half of mangrove areas from 1918 to 2010

The Philippines reportedly has lost about half of mangrove or “bakawan” over the past years.

According to Raffy Tima’s report on “24 Oras”, mangrove areas went down from 500,000 in 1918 to 240,824 hectares in 2010.

Among the reasons for the disappearance of mangrove forests were reclamation projects and creation of fisheries.

Severino Salmo III, UP Diliman Institute of Biology associate professor, said the Philippines is second in terms of lost mangroves in the ASEAN region.

“We need to complement conservation, limit the mangrove losses that is the conservation side. But, it is no longer enough to provide protection against typhoons. We really need to come up with a strategic restoration program,” Salmo said.

Mangroves serve as coastal protection in several communities in the Philippines against natural calamities and other environmental threats.

It also serves as home to marine life and improves the quality of air. —Richa Noriega/NB, GMA Integrated News