© WWF-Malaysia / Mazidi Abd Ghani

Tracking success in mangrove restoration

New study examines and develops a consistent framework to meet global goals

Written by Yasmine M. Gatt, Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

A great interest has been shown globally in mangrove restoration due to the variety of ecosystem processes, functions, and services that mangroves provide. With the uptake of targets under global initiatives such as the UN Decade of Restoration and the Bonn Challenge, this interest has further grown. However, despite the large economic investment being made in restoration of mangroves and coastal ecosystems, it is still unclear whether global goals can, or will, be met.

Our new study, “Quantifying the Reporting, Coverage and Consistency of Key Indicators in Mangrove Restoration Projects“, finds that the information being reported from mangrove restoration case studies is extremely variable and siloed. From the case studies examined, we found that socioeconomic outcomes and studies dealing with site conditions prior to restoration were consistently missing from most project reporting. Conversely, the intervention type and ecological monitoring were far more prevalent (see Figure 2, below). In general, we found that the restoration literature did not follow any specific framework in terms of reporting which likely contributed to the gaps in the information recorded. These gaps hinder comparisons between case studies and then inhibit the ability for future groups working on restoration projects to learn from previous attempts by identifying commonalities.

To address this inconsistency in reporting, the Global Mangrove Alliance will launch a new reporting system this summer through the Global Mangrove Watch that builds off the findings of this study. This system will allow practitioners to share information as they undertake restoration and provide updates on success and lessons learned throughout the project as needed. As with the rest of the Global Mangrove Watch platform, the restoration information shared will be freely available and can be used to further improve mangrove restoration efforts and meet global goals.

For more information on these findings, see the full, Open Access, paper in Frontiers for Forests and Global Change (doi: 10.3389/ffgc.2022.720394) and contact Yasmine M. Gatt with any questions.