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The skeletal remains of hundreds of mangrove trees mark barren flats along the Soungrougrou River where dense mangroves once flourished. West Africa is home to one of the world's most important mangrove forests, however large areas of the forests have been dying off in recent years. Locals and experts believe that drought and rising sea levels due to climate change have caused the increased salinization of the unique mangrove ecosystem leading to the degradation of large swaths of mangrove forests with detrimental consequences on biodiversity, fish stocks and the livelihoods of local inhabitants. Mangrove forests are excellent carbon sinks and essential in the fight against global warming. According to a recent report by the UNEP, the world's mangroves are being destroyed at a rate three to five times faster than global deforestation. The report calls mangrove forests "one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet." Marsassoum, Casamance, Senegal. 16/04/2016.
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Photo © J.B. Russell
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Climate Change in West Africa
The skeletal remains of hundreds of mangrove trees mark barren flats along the Soungrougrou River where dense mangroves once flourished. West Africa is home to one of the world's most important mangrove forests, however large areas of the forests have been dying off in recent years. Locals and experts believe that drought and rising sea levels due to climate change have caused the increased salinization of the unique mangrove ecosystem leading to the degradation of large swaths of mangrove forests with detrimental consequences on biodiversity, fish stocks and the livelihoods of local inhabitants. Mangrove forests are excellent carbon sinks and essential in the fight against global warming. According to a recent report by the UNEP, the world's mangroves are being destroyed at a rate three to five times faster than global deforestation. The report calls mangrove forests "one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet." Marsassoum, Casamance, Senegal. 16/04/2016.