Mangrove forests are one of the most powerful solutions to tackling global heating.

An Underutilized Natural Climate Solution:

In recent years our planet has continued heating at an unprecedented rate, thanks mostly to humanity’s releasing vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. We are now at a tipping point, and we need to store and capture as much carbon as we can.

The great news is that mangroves are very good at this: they remove carbon dioxide from the air and store it in their soils – in some cases 40 times faster than other forests. They are known to also store 5 times more carbon per hectare than inland rainforests.  

The bad news is that when mangrove forests get cut down, the carbon they were storing – perhaps for centuries – gets released into the atmosphere. Between 2000 and 2015, up to 122 million tons of this carbon was released due to mangrove loss – roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of Brazil. 

By conserving existing mangroves and restoring and re-establishing degraded coastal forests, we can both remove large amounts of carbon dioxide from the air and prevent more of its release. It will also enhance the resilience of coastal communities against climate disaster that includes rising seas. 

MAP’s Impact: 

Promoting Healthy & Natural Mangrove Forests

While many recognize the importance that mangroves represent to the fight against climate change, efforts to restore them are not always successful. Many restoration efforts depend on hand-replanting – such plantations, if successful, wind up in an unnatural monoculture which may not support as biodiverse or robust a habitat as the original mangrove forest. Much of the time, the seedlings simply die off after some time, due to the necessary conditions for mangrove growth not being first addressed.

That is why MAP promotes its unique method of “Community-Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration” (CBEMR), which focuses on restoring the natural, biodiverse mangrove forest.

The key lies in restoring the original conditions under which mangroves grew in an area. Sometimes this requires fixing hydrological issues (reestablishing normal tidal flow in and out of an area, for instance), or sometimes something as simple as working with a community to keep cattle from overgrazing an area undergoing regeneration.

In addition, MAP works with local communities – both in the CBEMR process and through its Marvellous Mangroves educational curriculum – to value their local mangrove forests, and informs them on how to interact with these forests to keep them healthy and productive, both for nature and people. This helps to prevent further mangrove degradation – which itself saves a vast amount of carbon from ever being released in the first place.

You can learn more about MAP’s education & restoration programs by clicking on the links.

You can help support MAP’s efforts to promote biodiverse and productive mangrove forests by making a monthly contribution. Thank you – we wouldn’t be able to do the work that we do without your support!