Mangroves Are Disappearing 3 to 5 Times Faster than Overall Global Forest Losses…

Human Wrongs Watch

International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem – 26 July


26 July 2021 (UNESCO)* — 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.

UNESCO is engaged deeply in supporting the conservation of mangroves, while advancing the sustainable development of their local communities.

The inclusion of mangroves in Biosphere ReservesWorld Heritage sites and UNESCO Global Geoparks contributes to improving the knowledge, management and conservation of mangrove ecosystems throughout the world.

The International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2015 and celebrated each year on 26 July, aims to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems as “a unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem” and to promote solutions for their sustainable management, conservation and uses.


“The health of humans has always depended on the health of the planet, but in today’s changing world, the importance of mangrove ecosystems is all too clear.   Yet it is estimated that some countries lost more than 40% of their mangroves between 1980 and 2005, often due to coastal development. (…) We  are  working  to  protect  mangroves  and  to  better support scientific research into these environments. However, we cannot do this alone.  We also need you.”

—  Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem 2021

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“Let us take action. Despite their immense importance to our own wellbeing, there is still a lot to do in order to stop the continuous loss of mangrove habitats. Based on science, with the support of environmental education and community involvement, we must conserve, restore and promote the sustainable use of mangrove ecosystems. Strengthening coastal UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and establishing new ones is a way to keep what we have and restore what we have lost.”

—  Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, on the occasion of the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem 2020.


2021 Human Wrongs Watch

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