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How mangrove forests create opportunities in the Philippines

Get to know Wilson Gastanes

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Mangroves are multi-talented. You are one of the best fighters we have against climate change. But they are so much more. Mangrove forests provide protection from storm surges and erosion, their roots create a safe space for young underwater life and they create opportunities for humans. Just like Wilson Gastanes from the Philippines.

Mangroves are multi-talented. You are one of the best fighters we have against climate change. But they are so much more.

Mangrove forests provide protection from storm surges and erosion, their roots create a safe space for young underwater life and they create opportunities for humans. Just like Wilson Gastanes from the Philippines.

Would you like to learn more about the superpowers of mangrove trees and how you can help change the lives of many people? Then read on.

Wilson and the mangrove

The Philippines is Click A Tree’s newest tree planting location. The planting takes place on the island of Mindanao, the second largest island in the country. This is also where 61-year-old Wilson lives and plants your trees for the oceans.

Want to find out more about our planting project in the Philippines? Then read this article and find out why we are planting trees for the oceans.

It wasn’t so long ago that Wilson became part of our tree planting team. Nevertheless, he has achieved an incredible amount in this short time! We are still amazed at how many trees he has planted.

In 1 ½ years, Wilson has planted 8,000 trees! If the conditions are right – low tide, no seaweed, fewer stones, etc. – he can plant around 500 mangroves a day. Amazing, isn’t it!

Childhood memories of a mangrove pool

There are many reasons why Wilson plants mangroves. More on the various reasons later, but first let’s get to Wilson’s personal mangrove story and how he brought about change after feeling powerless.

Many years ago, Wilson took his friends to his mangrove pool. Just imagine the fun he and his friends had there: swimming competitions, diving for fish or simply enjoying the cool water on a hot day.

But one day, Wilson and his neighbors witnessed businessmen destroying their mangrove pool. They cut down mangroves to create fish and shrimp farms, which is still a big problem today, as the mangroves can no longer grow there because of the chemicals.

Wilson still misses his mangrove pool today. He promised himself that he would plant a new one for his children so that they would have the same great childhood memories as he did.

Would you like to find out more about mangroves and our project in the Philippines? Follow us on Instagram – you’ll find the latest updates on our projects there!

How planting mangroves supports the future of the Philippines

Being a tropical island in Southeast Asia does not only have advantages. The Philippines are strongly affected by the effects of climate change. Sea levels are rising and natural disasters are on the increase.¹

In addition, there are increasing problems with soil erosion, crop quality, landslides and the management of water catchment areas as a result of deforestation.

Time is running out. That is why we must act TODAY. We need to start opening our eyes to the things that are really happening. Wilson doesn’t have the option of not worrying about climate change and the impact on his home and family.

Life for fishing families in the Philippines is hard enough as it is, but when the weather conditions worsen, they are unable to feed their families.

Planting mangroves helps Wilson and others by providing them with a stable income, while the mangrove forests attract more wildlife and marine life.

The superpowers of Wilson’s mangroves

Mangroves as a food source

Once the mangroves have been planted, it doesn’t take long before the first mussels can be seen on the young mangrove stems. Wilson and his colleagues collect them and sell part of their catch at the market and use the rest to cook mussel soup.

As the mangroves grow older, more marine life makes the roots of the mangroves their home. The tangled area creates a safe space for underwater life, including many species of fish, crabs and shrimps.

Mangroves protect people from flooding and erosion, but are also an important source of food for humans and underwater life.

But did you know that mangroves also collect plastic from the sea?

Mangroves in the fight against plastic pollution

Yes, you read that right!

Plastic pollution is a major global problem. And unfortunately, there’s no magic spell to make plastic waste simply disappear when we’re done with it.

Wilson experiences this problem first-hand when he goes to the beach. In many Asian countries, everything really is wrapped in plastic, from your morning coffee to your bread. And most of the plastic will later end up in the sea, as there are no recycling areas. This is also the case in Wilson’s village.

We want to stop plastic pollution in the sea and therefore collect 1 kg of plastic from the sea for every tree planted.

Would you like to hear something else amazing? Wilson told us that they plan to make flower pots from the plastic they collect, which they can then use for tree planting.

How great is that?

Find out more about the superpowers of mangroves here: Mangrove forests – The all-round heroes [7 lebenswichtige Funktionen + 4 einzigartige Mangroven-Fakten]

What difference has planting mangroves made in the Philippines?

Planting mangroves means protecting families and their homes. They are an important source of food. And planting mangroves means creating opportunities.

Wilson and his tree-planting colleagues plant trees to give their children a better life. By planting mangroves, they can ensure that their children’s future is stable enough without having to move elsewhere to find work.

For Wilson, it is important that his children feel safe and that they know they can lead a life without difficulties.

Wilson’s dream

“I hope that more people understand the important role that mangroves play for the sea, the land, the environment, but also for our livelihoods.

Help us to change people’s lives

Changing lives doesn’t have to be difficult. You don’t have to add it to your to-do list or leave your house. You can help change people’s lives by planting mangroves with just a few keystrokes.

Help us realize Wilson’s dream and plant mangrove trees now.

Stay connected and follow us on Instagram for the latest inspiring stories, all about trees and a special surprise for Mangrove Day.

Sources

¹ http://www.klimaretter.info/serie/das-meer-steigt/23482-philippinen-alleingelassen-im-klimawandel