Coastal communities are intrinsically connected to the sea. Their lives depend on mangrove forests

A Coastal Supermarket & Protector:

A key to happiness and life on tropical coastlines is a healthy mangrove forest. Mangroves ensure the seas are rich and biodiverse, provide essential goods and food for locals, and also protect the land and coastal communities from rising sea levels and ever increasing storms.

It has long been a sailing proverb that when a storm is about to hit, one should head for the mangroves. Their ability to diminish the effect of storm-driven waves – as well as tsunamis – make coastlines more habitable for local populations who live along them. Mangroves are now seen worldwide as a major tool in ‘disaster-risk reduction’ by both governments and international organizations.

Mangrove forests are one of the most productive ecosystems on earth, providing essential goods such as firewood, medicines, fibers & dyes, charcoal, construction materials and food for indigenous a traditional communities. They are also among the world’s most productive fishing grounds, yielding vast numbers of fish, crabs, shrimps and mollusks. As well as providing food for the tens of millions of people, mangroves offer alternative livelihood opportunities and eco tourism initiatives.  

MAP’s Impact: 

Partnering With and Working For Mangrove Coastal Communities

One of MAP’s primary goals has always been to work with and promote the well-being of coastal communities. MAP has a long history of advocating for and working with these communities promote their rights to healthy & natural ecosystems. Additionally, by working with communities, instead of in spite of them, mangrove conservation and restoration efforts stand a much better chance of succeeding – since the communities will be the ones who remain to look after an area.

MAP has developed a variety of programs tailored to working with coastal communities – ranging from educating them on the value of their local mangrove forests, to enabling and working with them to restore degraded areas using natural methods. Moreover, MAP has also worked on implementing and training communities in alternative livelihoods (such as beekeeping) that promote healthy mangrove forests.

Other Ways You Can Help

  • Support the preservation of forests by purchasing sustainably-produced products, especially those that work in tandem with natural mangrove forests
  • Question Your Shrimp – does your shrimp come from sustainable sources, or from shrimp farms that were once thriving mangrove forests?
  • Avoid palm oil products where you can
  • Take part in community based eco-tourism like mangrove kayaking, mangrove boardwalks, and bird watching
  • Promote sustainable tourism – such as locally led initiatives instead of resorts that may have been built on top of cleared mangrove forests
  • Reduce plastic usage as much as possible, so that less trash winds up in mangrove forests

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!