In Trinidad and Tobago mangroves are important in mitigating coastal erosion and storm surges. Their conservation plays a crucial role in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Through carbon sequestration the mangrove forests help buffer the impacts of climate change- sea level rise, storm surge, coastal erosion, and coastal flooding, in addition to providing other ecosystem services, pollution abatement and nursery habitats.
Its ability to mitigate climate change impacts however depends on the location and size of the forest. The Caroni Swamp is the largest mangrove forest in Trinidad. In the Buccoo / Bon Accord Ramsar site in Tobago, for example, mangroves exert a stabilizing effect upon a very delicate sand spit.
The Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve is the world’s oldest tropical rainforest reserve, established in 1776, and is home to coral reefs and mangroves. It presents a rare largely intact Caribbean Island Ridge-to-Ocean ecosystem that lies within North-East Tobago's Biosphere Reserve. The Biosphere Reserve has been added to the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 2020.
The information was kindly provided by the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) of Trinidad and Tobago.