Full Report Translations

Goal for avoided loss: 168km2 by 2030. Rates of mangroves loss have already slowed considerably in recent years. This presents an opportune moment to raise our ambition. While we can aspire to halt all losses, our target refers to direct, and therefore directly manageable, human-driven loss. In recognizing that mangroves are dynamic ecosystems, we also draw attention to the possibility of making further gains as mangroves naturally colonize new locations.

Goal for restoration: 4,092km2 by 2030. Approximately 8,183km2 are considered restorable and we seek to restore half by 2030. This is a deeply ambitious goal. New work by Worthington and colleagues nonetheless shows that there is enormous potential for restoration, both by estimating the restorability, and by highlighting the considerable side benefits for local populations and the global community.

Goal for doubling protection: 61,000km2 under conservation measures. 42% of the world’s mangroves currently in protected areas, however, the urgency to halt all loss is fundamental. One of our key approaches is incorporating of mangroves into permanent forms of protection including traditional protected areas and Other Effective  Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs), which could encompass indigenous lands and areas of sustainable use.

It is estimated that 62% of mangrove loss is due primarily to direct and indirect human impacts mostly occurring in Southeast Asia. Naturally driven events such as erosion, inundation, or storms—exacerbated by climate change—are also leading to loss.

The latest maps on the Global Mangrove Watch show 147,000km2 of mangroves globally. Rates of loss have greatly diminished with averaged losses over the last decade of just 0.04% per year. The declining rates of loss should provide hope—mangroves are often opportunistic, and expansion can occur relatively fast. Recent gains are likely mostly due to natural propagation with restoration projects providing additional help.

Over the last 20 years, mangrove forests have shifted from being one of the fastest-diminishing habitats on Earth to being one of the best protected. Over 8,100 km2 are still highly restorable but will requires long-term funding to communities. We are collaborating across the mangrove community to develop tools that maximize restoration success.

It is essential to ensure that decisions about the use of—and access to—mangroves are made fairly and equitably when empowering communities. Taking into account the needs of those already using and dependent upon mangroves, in many cases indigenous people and women, is key to long-term success.

Alongside credible, robust, and transparent data, sharing of examples of the practicalities and potential of different management interventions is further strengthening the hand of policy-makers. And policy-makers must work with local Indigenous peoples, coastal communities, and small-scale fishers for sustained success.

Many benefits of conserving and restoring mangroves can be further underpinned by strong financial arguments of the economic gains mangroves provide. But to meet the global conservation funding gap, it is estimated that $11.1 billion will be necessary over the next twenty years to restore mangroves world-wide.

This scientific report is clear: if we want to implement the promises made at COP26 and raise the level of ambition to meet the Paris Agreement, we must look to mangroves. The climate and the adaptive capacity and resilience of millions of people living on the coasts depend on it.

Nigel Topping and Mahmoud Mohieldin
High Level Champions appointed under the UN Climate Convention

The 2022 edition of The State of the World’s Mangroves describes a surge in our understanding of mangroves globally and multiple points of hope: mangrove loss is declining, we know more about protecting these ecosystems than ever before, and partnerships and global awareness are ever stronger. The tide has yet to turn on loss but we are dedicated to maintaining momentum to support mangrove forests to minimize the impacts of irreversible climate change and the wider biodiversity crisis.

Mark Spalding
Senior Marine Scientist for The Nature Conservancy

Mangroves are coastal guardians and cost-effective nature-based solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation. Collaboration and innovative partnerships at both the global level through the Global Mangrove Alliance and local level through the Belize National Chapter are critical to meeting national and global climate and biodiversity goals.

Nadia Bood
Senior Program Officer, Marine Science and Climate Change with WWF-Mesoamerica and Co-lead of the GMA Belize National Chapter

We understand the benefits of healthy mangrove ecosystems for climate mitigation and resilience against extreme weather. We know where mangroves are most at risk and where they can best be restored, and we know how to revitalize them by using the principles of ‘ecological mangrove restoration’ and local knowledge. We just need the political and financial will, with all hands on deck, to safeguard and intelligently restore these incredibly valuable ecosystems for the good of humanity and nature.“

Lammert Hilarides
Senior Technical Officer with Wetlands International

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