Regenerating Mangrove Forests
Flavia Neves Maia is a descendant of climate migrants. Her ancestors lived and died amidst great droughts in the Brazilian Northeast. Flavia became an urban planner, working with communities to address social issues and inequities. Her life took an unexpected turn when her father passed away. Her father’s departure sparked a deep, soul-searching journey.
In meditation, Flavia had a profound realization—she was not separate from nature but an integral part of it. This newfound awareness sparked a deeper understanding of the root causes of the climate crisis. She saw that humanity’s destructive relationship with nature, driven by a mindset of domination and conquest, was the underlying cause of the climate crisis. She came to understand that the solution lay not only in cutting emissions but also in healing the emotional disconnection between humans and the Earth.
Soon after, Flavia decided to move to Barra Grande, a coastal community in Parnaíba River Delta Region in Brazil. There, she was invited to join a circle of women who were at the forefront of climate action in an area seen as a climate hotspot.
When learning the important work the women were doing to protect nature with very few resources, Flavia decided to join them and do all she could to be part of protecting and restoring Mother Earth, starting with protecting the mangroves in her community.
With the help of her friends, Rhavena Madeira and Rebeca Viana, Flavia co-founded Filha do Sol. Filha do Sol is dedicated to protecting and fostering the regeneration of tropical nature (starting with the local mangroves), nature regeneration across the tropics, and supporting and elevating women’s leadership in climate actions.
The first thing Flavia and her friends did was provide free support to scale up community organizing for climate mitigation and adaptation. This included the protection of the local mangroves—an important part of the surrounding nature in her community.
Flavia’s vision and dedication are a powerful reminder that everyone can make a difference in protecting Mother Earth, and that engaging and supporting community actions is vitally important for sustainable and lasting solutions. We all have a role to play in protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development. She reminds us that emissions are as important as emotions in leading the climate crisis.
Why Is This Important?
Mangroves are unique and valuable ecosystems that provide numerous benefits to both humans and the environment. They serve as a habitat for a wide range of plant and animal species, including many that are endangered. They also act as a natural buffer against coastal erosion, storm surges, and tsunamis, protecting coastal communities from natural disasters.
Mangroves also play a crucial role in mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in their biomass and soil. They are considered to be some of the most carbon-rich ecosystems on Earth, storing up to four times as much carbon per hectare as tropical forests. Regenerating mangrove forests can help to restore and protect these valuable ecosystems and ensure their continued benefits for future generations.
What Can You Do?
Consider these tips:
Mangroves are a hugely important species in their ecosystem, but all ecosystems are different. What are some native species in the ecosystem around you? Learn more about the native plants and wildlife in your area and how to protect and regenerate them. You can also visit One Earth’s bioregions map to learn more about your area and what needs protection there. Once you learn about the ecosystem around you, consider planting trees or plants that are native to your area to contribute to the local biodiversity!
Take care of your shared environment in your community. Discover what nature needs protection and preservation in your local region. Look for local groups that host nature walks, tree planting, and clean-ups. Together, try to identify areas that need protection so the Earth can regenerate itself.
Share Your Ideas
Have you or someone you know done something in your community to promote land or water preservation? Do you know of any efforts for the regeneration of mangroves
or other local ecosystems?
We would love to hear from you!
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