Community Based Ecological Mangrove Rehabilitation (CBEMR) in Indonesia
From small (12-33 ha) to medium scales (400 ha) with pathways for adoption at larger scales (>5000 ha)
While successful examples of large-scale (5 000-10 000 ha) ecological wetland/mangrove rehabilitation projects exist worldwide, mangrove rehabilitation efforts in Indonesia, both large and small, have mainly failed. The majority of projects (both government programs and non-government initiatives) have oversimplified the technical processes of mangrove rehabilitation, favouring the direct planting of a restricted subset of mangrove species (from the family Rhizophoracea), commonly in the lower half of the intertidal system (from Mean Sea Level down to Mean Low Water Spring Tide) where mangroves, by and large, do not naturally grow. Aside from lack of appropriate technical assessment, these sub-tidal mudflats are often targeted for rehabilitation because true degraded mangrove forests are frequently linked to tenurial issues that require significant effort and investment to resolve.
Ecological Mangrove Rehabilitation (EMR) has been implemented and well documented for the past several decades in New World mangrove systems (Lewis, 2005, 2009b) and was selected as a best practice for adaptation and trials in Indonesia. Whereas in the US, the five-step process primarily focuses on biophysical assessments and eco-hydrological repair, when applied to the Indonesian scenario, EMR requires both lower-cost biophysical approaches and greater attention to socio-cultural-political approaches common in sustainable development and coastal resource management programs.