Coastal Ecosystems of the Tropics - Adaptive Management
Tropical coastal environment represents one of the most dynamic and vital interfaces on Earth, at the boundary between land and sea. It encompasses some of the most diverse and productive habitats. These habitats include natural ecosystems, managed ecosystems besides major urban centres. The existence of these ecosystems is dependent on the land-sea interconnection and dynamic flow of energy and matter. At the same time, the coastal region has long been under stress from over-exploitation and mismanagement. The increasing pace of human population and developmental activities in the tropical coastal region has altered the functionality of coastal ecosystems and endangered several flora and fauna that threaten the livelihood of people who depend on them. In addition, the looming spectre of sea level rise associated with the effect of global warming presents a new and potentially far more dangerous threat to this region. This necessitates suitable coastal zone management plan to conserve and derive sustainable benefit from the coastal ecosystems. With this background an overview of tropical coastal countries, its demographic features, natural resources, coastal ecosystems, and its services to the human society are discussed in this chapter. Brief account on effect of human activities and climate change on coastal region sourced from different literatures provides useful information to the researchers, students, and policymakers.