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Mangroves as Coastal Protection for Local Economic Activities from Hurricanes in the Caribbean
World Bank 2021.11.30 원문보기
In recent decades, hurricane frequency and intensity have increased in the Caribbean Basin. From 2000 to 2012, more than 100 hurricanes impacted lives, infrastructure, and economic activity along the region’s shorelines. Studies suggest that mangrove forests’ dense root systems might mitigate the impact of hurricanes, which would help stabilize the coastline and prevent erosion from waves and storms. Although many tropical mangroves are found on Caribbean coasts, climatic and anthropogenic events have been clearing these wetland ecosystems at an annual rate of 1 percent since the 1990s. This study quantifies the effects of hurricane windstorms on economic activity using nightlight as a proxy at the highest spatial resolution data available (1 square kilometer). Using different widths of the mangrove belt, it measures levels of mangrove natural protection against the impact of hurricanes and studies the broader socioeconomic and environmental effects of this protection. The results suggest that while major hurricanes reduce nightlight by approximately 2 percent and up to 16 percent in storm surge prone areas, the presence of mangroves on the coast mitigates the impact of hurricanes, reducing nightlight by 1?6 percent.
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