Nature has an amazing ability to heal itself, but sometimes requires the assistance of humans to set it on track. Such is the case in Tiwoho Village, where a whole community dived into the mud, armed with only hand tools, to restore the way water flows in and out of their beloved mangroves. The results have manifested themselves as 400,000 true mangrove trees representing more than 25 species, growing tall and healthy in a free-flowing coastal forest. The community of Tiwoho is proud of their restored mangrove forest, receiving visitors from Indonesia and across the world every year to learn from their handiwork. Numerous families enter the mangroves every day, in search of crabs, snails, clams and natural medicines, or simply for some time away from busy village life.
Strategic breaching of dike walls and creation of tidal creeks can be achieved with manual labor as well as heavy machinery. Indonesia currently maintains over 660,000 hectares of shrimp ponds in former mangrove systems, many of which are abandoned or disused. Rehabilitating a portion of these ponds back to mangroves costs only around USD 1000 per hectare, but the long-term value they have for local communities has been calculated at over USD 20,000 per year, EVERY YEAR! If your community is interested in restoring disused or abandoned shrimp ponds to become productive mangrove forests again, simply Google "Ecological Mangrove Rehabilitation," or reach out to CIFOR and Blue Forests for technical advice.