Mangrove Loss


Mangrove Loss

URGENT UPDATE: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a network of several conservation groups, has set alarm bells ringing by warning that more than one in six mangrove species worldwide are in danger of extinction due to coastal development and other factors, including climate change, logging and agriculture.

We have already lost over half of the world’s original mangrove forest area, estimated at 32 million hectares (app. 80 million acres). In 2007, less than 15 million hectares (37 million acres) of mangroves remain.

About half of mangrove loss has occurred in the last 50 years, mostly in the last two decades, due to:

shrimp farming
agriculture expansion
marinas, and
other intrusive developments.
The current rate of mangrove loss is approximately 1% per annum (according to the Food and Agriculture Organization – FAO), or roughly 150,000 hectares (370,050 acres) of mangrove wetlands lost each year.

The amount of mangrove forest loss is alarming:

Thailand has lost more than half of its mangrove forests since 1960;

In the Philippines, mangroves have declined from an estimated 448,000 hectares in the 1920s to only 110,000 hectares by 1990;

In Ecuador, estimates of mangrove loss range from 20% to nearly 50% of Ecuador’s once 362,000 ha of mangrove forested coastline. The Muisne region of Ecuador alone has lost nearly 90% of its mangroves.

Shrimp Farming in Ecuador (1991-2006)

A Tragedy for our Oceans
Continuing heavy loss of mangrove forests represents a real tragedy for our oceans and the extensive life-support systems mangroves engender. With climate change and sea level rise upon us, we must look to the mangroves to help turn the tides which these forests can do through their ability to control erosion, buffer against storms, and sequester huge amounts of carbon.

Mangroves may in fact be one of our last defenses against the perils of climate change and global warming. The mangrove’s last stand, may well in fact be humanity’s last stand!

Climate Change

Current rates of mangrove loss are roughly estimated at around 150,000 hectares Read more


Oil activities in the mangroves causes a series of environmental impacts: Read more


Mangrove forests are often seen as obstructions to one’s view from a bay-side Read more

Shrimp Farming

The rapidly expanding shrimp aquaculture industry poses one of the gravest Read more

> Back to Issues