Climate Change Increasing Threats on Non-Conserved Mangroves Forests of Micheweni, Zanzibar–Tanzania
Overutilization of mangroves has been reported as the factor for mangrove declining across the globe. However, currently, the global climate change has been claimed to pose significant threats to the survival of mangroves. This study analysed the impacts of climatic variability (sea level rise, temperature and precipitation) to the mangroves of Micheweni (non reserve) and Ngezi-Vumawimbi (nature forest reserve). Multi-disciplinary approach was employed to collect information on community perceptions. Secondary time series data of up to 30 years for temperature, rainfall and sea level rise were collected and analysed. Inquiry results on how local communities perceived climate change showed that over 88% of the respondents agreed that there have been changes in climate in their areas, with 64% showing that there are severe impacts to the mangrove ecosystems. The respondents further claimed that there have been frequent saltwater intrusions affecting their agricultural crops and water table. Analysis of climate change parameters showed gradual sea level rise in the past 10 years and significant increase in temperatures in the past 30 years coupled with slight decrease in overall rainfall patterns. These observations could have serious effects on mangroves, particularly those of Micheweni, since the region is notable with high temperature coupled with minimum amount of rainfall per year, and being freely accessible unlike Ngezi. To reduce vulnerability to climate change, it is recommended to establish buffer zones in particular to the non-reserve mangrove forest of Micheweni. Also there is a need for community sensitization on climate change and resource management.
Keywords: Climate change; Mangroves; Sea level rise; Temperature; Precipitation;