She fell in love with the mangroves. And since then she protected the mangroves like a true knight protecting his king.
Dr. Jurgenne H. Primavera spent her time studying mangroves and discovered why mangroves population in the Philippines was declining—the major culprit is the conversion of mangrove areas to brackish water fishponds. According to Dr. primavera, the greatest mangrove loss has been due to large-scale development of bangus (milkfish) ponds at 4,000 to 5,000 hectares per year from the 1950s to the 1960s. also, coastal communities, as well as bakeries and wood-fired sugar mills, depend on mangroves for fuel. Mangrove areas are also converted to agriculture and salt ponds or cut down to give way to reclaimed lands for ports and commercial areas.
Because of her stand on mangroves, Primavera became the only Filipino scientist to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the Stockholm University in Sweden, capping more than 10 years of mangroves studies. Since 1997, Primavera has worked on two mangrove sites in Aklan as field laboratories. These are the patches of mangroves in Ibajay town and Buswang in Kalibo town.
She wrote more than 60 scientific articles, review papers, manuals, book chapters and technical reports, and co-authored 20 papers. Many of the subjects touched on impacts of fish and shrimp farming, the ecological value of mangroves, marine conservation and management, and livelihood opportunities from mangroves.
Dr. Primavera is currently a researcher at the Aquaculture Department of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center in the Philippines. She holds a doctorate degree in marine Science from the University of the Philippines.
Visual source: seafdec