Mangroves are rare, spectacular and prolific ecosystems on the boundary between land and sea. These extra ordinary ecosystems contribute to the wellbeing, food security, and protection of coastal communities worldwide. They support a rich biodiversity and provide a valuable nursery habitat for fish and crustaceans. Mangroves also act as a form of natural coastal defense against storm surges, tsunamis, rising sea levels and erosion. Their soils are highly effective carbon sinks, sequestering vast amounts of carbon.
Yet mangroves are disappearing three to five times faster than overall global forest losses, with serious ecological and socio-economic impacts. Current estimates indicate that mangrove coverage has been divided by two in the past 40 years.
“Mangroves are in danger: it is estimated that more than three quarters of mangroves in the world are now threatened and with them all the fine balances that depend on them. This is why UNESCO is acting to protect them, along with other valuable blue carbon ecosystems, through its geoparks, world heritage sites and biosphere reserves.”