Damage to forests and trees by the tsunami

Mangroves, coastal forests, home gardens, agroforestry systems and trees in the coastal landscape were damaged by the tsunami. It may take some time before the full extent of the damage and the impacts are known as some forest and tree resources will recover, whilst others will not. Changes in topography, soil salinity and freshwater in-flow from upstream may also adversely affect the mangroves, coastal forests and tree resources in the longer term. The post-tsunami demand for wood and non-wood forest products is also anticipated to cause severe pressure on forest and tree resources.

Needs for action

A systematic and comprehensive assessment is required that addresses:
  • areas and severity of damage to forest and trees by the tsunami;
  • the economic impact of the tsunami in terms of destruction of primary forest products (e.g. fuelwood and building materials) and secondary forest products (e.g. wooden boats, piers, houses and other buildings and infrastructure);
  • changes in topography, soil salinity and freshwater in-flow from upstream which may adversely affect the mangroves and other coastal forests in the longer term;
  • risk assessment of forest pest outbreaks and implementation of preventative and phytosanitary measures.