Coastal wetlands, such as mangrove forests, can reduce the negative effects of sea level rise, extreme weather like heavy rainfall, increased temperatures, severe storms and related phenomena.
The recovery and rehabilitation of mangroves and linked coastal and marine habitats are vital to increase coastal protection and support coastal fisheries. Safeguarding wetland systems also helps to secure sufficient freshwater supplies.
Coastal nature are considered as a green belt against natural disasters like floods and cyclones. Damage assessments indicate that areas with a relatively intact, natural shoreline were in some cases less affected by the tsunami in 2004. Furthermore, these marine and coastal ecosystems support a diversity of natural life, including birds, fish and sea turtles.
Soon after the tsunami NGOs in the affected countries appealed for support in their efforts to recover damaged coastal ecosystems and to reform coastal policies. Following these urgent pleas from their local partners, four international organisations developed the Green coast project. Novib/Oxfam Netherlands was prepared to finance the Green Coast project for 18 months.