A Global Risk Assessment of Coastal Regions Based on the Disaster Mitigation Potential of their Mangrove Forests
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Mangrove forests are found to lessen the impact of tsunamis, cyclones, and their subsequent flooding in nearby areas. Unfortunately, they are one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world. Due to their wide and dense vegetation, mangroves can reduce wave energy and prevent storm surge flooding, thus decreasing the cost of damages and loss of life that can result. The impact of this deforestation is particularly seen on coastlines where local communities have lost a source of livelihood as well as a protection against natural hazard events. As forest protection policy evolves around the world, mangroves’ disaster mitigation properties could be a useful option in deciding conservation or restoration efforts. With this project’s assessment of high-risk coastal areas using data analysis and GIS, the potential for mangrove conservation or restoration in mitigating natural disasters was further examined. Due to having high mangrove deforestation, high disaster frequency, history of greater disaster effects, and predicted high population density, the two regions of Asia and North and Central America should focus on mangrove restoration along with alternative protection strategies as a means of disaster mitigation.