On 26 July, World Mangrove Day, the Global Mangrove Alliance launched in Washington DC. The Mangrove Alliance brings together Conservation International, IUCN, The Nature Conservancy, WWF and Wetlands International. Our aim: to expand the global extent of mangroves 20% by 2030.
The value of mangroves
More than 200 million people depend on mangroves for food and their livelihoods. They are home to many endangered species. And they protect against coastal erosion and flooding. They are also the most carbon-rich forests in the world – 1 hectare of mangroves can offsets 726 tonnes of coal emissions.
Yet mangroves remain undervalued and 67% of mangroves have been lost or degraded to date. With further losses occurring every year, this ecosystem is at risk of being destroyed altogether.
Our track record
We have been working to safeguard and restore mangroves for over 30 years. During that time we have carried out rehabilitation projects. We have demonstrated the role of mangroves in coastal protection. And we have produced and shared knowledge to support conservation.
In 2013, as part of the Building with Nature partnership we launched the first small-scale pilot in Java, Indonesia. This innovative approach combines restoration, small scale hard-engineering and sustainable land use.
Despite our efforts, mangroves continue to be destroyed for fish farming, agriculture and wood. Urban expansion also threatens the coastal habitats where they grow. And sea levels are predicted to rise at such a rate that mangroves might not be able to keep up.
Joining forces to protect mangroves
That’s why the Global Alliance partners, along with other organisations, are joining forces to tackle this issue. Together we can create new investments, develop knowledge and inform policy.