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News release

New videos on ecosystem services of the tropical coastal forests of the Gulf of Mexico

30 June 2016

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Video ¿Qué es la conectividad? “What’s connectivity?”

Two new videos from the ITTO funded project RED-PD 045/11 Rev.2 (M) have just been released, highlighting the value of coastal forests of the Gulf of Mexico (mangroves, flooded forests, wetlands, rain forests and scrub forests on dunes). The videos show why conservation of these ecosystems is of extreme importance in order to mitigate adverse effects of climate change and secure provision of essential goods and services, such as water supply of sufficient quantity and quality. The videos are available in Spanish only.
 
The coastal forests of the Gulf of Mexico perform important environmental functions, such as protecting communities and farmland from storm surges and providing water filtration services. But an estimated 85% of these ecosystems in the state of Veracruz are degraded and in urgent need of restoration. To help in such restoration, ITTO funded a project titled Environmental assessment and economic valuation of ecosystem services provided by coastal forests in Veracruz, Mexico in 2012. The project has just released two videos that illustrate the environmental services of coastal forest and their value for society:
 
  • Video ¿Qué es la conectividad? (“What is connectivity?”) shows the connectivity function of trees and scattered vegetation which serve as trails and knots that link flora and fauna of different populations, permitting the exchange of genes, accelerating natural regeneration and thus preserving biological diversity. Available in Spanish only, 2 minutes 29 seconds.
  • Video Servicios  ecosistémicos de los bosques y selvas de Veracruz (“Ecosystem services of the coastal forests of Veracruz”) shows the results of a quantitative assessment conducted by the project of the goods and services provided by mangroves, flooded forests, wetlands, rain forests and scrub forests on dunes and their importance in sustaining the livelihoods of local communities and of the populations around the coastline. The ecosystem services assessed include flood containment, carbon sequestration, improved water quality, mitigation and adaptation to climate change and accelerated regeneration. Available in Spanish only, 30 minutes and 11 seconds.
The research results conclude that healthy ecosystems are resilient to adverse effects from climate change and reduce the vulnerability of populations leaving nearby. Flood forests are extremely important in terms of carbon sequestration and in water containment (reducing flooding, containing the salt wedge and providing fresh water in sufficient quantity and quality). Mangroves are of extreme importance for healthy fisheries and for the economy of fishing-dependant populations.
 
The project has also published many technical publications, papers in scientific journals and other promotional material in order to promote the conservation of these ecosystems. These publications are available at ITTO’s project search function.