Key Idea This Key Idea has illustrations and text comparing a healthy and a degraded Micronesian community on a volcanic island. Click "View Source" on the right to see the illustrations and read the detailed descriptions of the features of both healthy and degraded communities and the benefits that the healthy features provide with respect to climate change.

A healthy Micronesian community on a volcanic island provides abundant resources for sustainable use by local residents. A healthy intact community and natural resources also help to buffer against the impacts of climate change. Elements of this healthy community include:

Watershed has intact native upland vegetation and intact riparian vegetation (next to rivers/streams) that minimize erosion, protect water quality, and provide vital habitat.

Coastline and beaches have intact vegetation along the shore and no development close to shore. These factors protect and stabilize the shoreline, provide habitat, reduce salt spray from getting inland, and provide recreational areas for residents and tourists.

Coast and beaches have healthy intact mangroves and/or other vegetation. These protect from storm surges, reduce erosion, reduce inland salt spray, provide habitat, and protect coral reefs by trapping sediment from land.

Seagrass beds are healthy and intact, protecting the coastline from currents, providing critical habitat, trapping sediment from land, and taking up nutrients from land runoff.

Coral reefs are healthy, have diverse invertebrates and fish species including big predators and herbivores. Healthy coral reefs buffer against storm surges and provide vital habitat for food security, ecosystem stability, recreation and tourism.

A healthy community with strong family, cultural and community bonds has greater abilities to be safe, healthy and happy. The community has infrastructures, practices and plans to protect itself and the local natural resources.

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