EMR Illustrated Manuals

EMR Illustrated Manual

The MAP Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) Method was originally conceived as a 5-Step process. It was never presented as a static recipe, however, but as a dynamic process which sought input from restoration practitioners, especially from communities and local NGOs working on the ground. Through time, and with accumulated experience working in various regions of the tropics and sub-tropics, MAP has revised the methodology and today it is presented as a 6-Step process.

We welcome your suggestions and critique of the method and are providing our illustrated manual for download in order to better disseminate the concepts and invite your review (and corrections!).
Note that the manual was prepared with the original 5 Steps in mind. A second version (below) reflects the current 6-Step method . . . and your input.

Download MAP’s Illustrated Manual to Successful Ecological Restoration of Mangroves in English

5 EMR Steps in English (complete manual) (pdf 7 MB)

Illustrated Manual in Other Languages

5 EMR Steps in Tegulu (pdf 2,10 MB)
5 EMR Steps in Bahasa-Indonesia (pdf 6.38 MB)
5 EMR Steps in Thai (pdf 3.71 MB)
5 EMR Steps in Burmese (pdf 13.8 MB)
5 EMR Steps in Khmer (pdf 3.1 MB)

6 Steps to Successful EMR

Work together with local communities, NGOs and government to:

  1. Understand both the individual species and community ecology of the naturally occurring mangrove species at the site, paying particular attention to patterns of reproduction, distribution, and successful seedling establishment;
  2. Understand the normal hydrology that controls the distribution and successful establishment and growth of targeted mangrove species;
  3. Assess the modifications of the mangrove environment that occurred and that currently prevent natural secondary succession;
  4. Select appropriate restoration areas through application of Steps 1-3, above, that are both likely to succeed in rehabilitating a forest ecosystem and are cost effective. Consider the available labor to carry out the projects, including adequate monitoring of their progress toward meeting quantitative goals established prior to restoration. This step includes resolving land ownership/use issues necessary for ensuring long-term access to and conservation of the site;
  5. Design the restoration program at appropriate sites selected in Step 4, above, to restore the appropriate hydrology and utilize natural volunteer mangrove recruitment for natural plant establishment;
  6. Utilize actual planting of propagules or seedlings only after determining through Steps 1-5, above, that natural recruitment will not provide the quantity of successfully established seedlings, rate of stabilization, or rate of growth as required for project success.

Local communities plant propagules and/or seedlings even after having undertaken EMR for a combination of reasons:

  • Impatience;
  • Planted areas appear to outsiders (not aware of the project) as intentional actions and provide a measure of protection, as it is obvious that there is human activity in the area;
  • Promotion of growth of “preferred” species, such as Rhizophora spp., over early colonizers such as Avicennia spp. or Sonneratia spp;
  • To encourage and ensure local community participation in restoration efforts, as direct involvement may inspire better stewardship and a keener sense of project ownership by local communities; and
  • To earn income, as some NGOs and government agencies specifically budget funds for planting mangroves regardless of actual need at given project sites.

Summary sheets

MAP’s 6-Step EMR Method (pdf 90 KB)
MAP’s 6-Step EMR Method – Thai language (pdf 180 KB)


MAP’s 6-Step EMR Method Poster (in English) – 150 dpi (pdf 5 MB)
MAP’s 6-Step EMR Method Poster (in English) – 300 dpi (pdf 13.1 MB)
MAP’s 6-Step EMR Method Poster (in Spanish) / Poster en Español sobre el método en 6 pasos para Restauración Ecológica de Manglares
(tiff 1.97 MB)