UCLA Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences 270 Seminar
Speaker: Octavio Aburto-Oropeza
Aburto Lab, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
Mangrove ecosystems are critical hubs of biodiversity, protectors of our coastlines from damaging effects of storms and erosion, and play a major role in the mitigation of climate change through the sequestration and long-term storage of atmospheric carbon. Members of Aburto Lab study the ecological and economic value of mangroves. From otolith and soil analysis, to drone and satellite technologies, we analyze how these forests provide ecosystem services for humans and we answer questions about ecosystem management at the municipal, state, federal, and international levels. However, squeezed between industrial activities—such as agricultural and tourism developments—and rising seas, we are losing mangrove ecosystems and their invaluable services. Deforestation has led to global losses of over 35% of mangrove cover in the last three decades. For this reason, Aburto Lab is generating science to improve the efficiency and success of global mangrove conservation and restoration, starting with Mexico, one of the top five countries with the greatest mangrove extent. We propose a framework to connect large, international climate action agreements with local on-the-ground community-based conservation in Mexico to make tangible progress towards the goal of 0% mangrove deforestation by 2030.