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Mangrove is a particular tree that grows in intertidal regions of tropical and subtropical coastlines. There are 69 different species of mangroves around the world, and they are plant formations that have adopted unique strategies to adapt to extreme territorial conditions such as salinity and insolation.[1]

They are among the planet’s best carbon stores. Carbon fixed by mangroves (blue carbon) would help sequester anthropogenic CO2 emissions and subsequently slow rapid climate change.[2]

The ecosystem hosts a variety of species, including 174 species of marine megafauna. Mangrove swamps protect coastal areas from erosion, storm surge (especially during hurricanes), and tsunamis.[3]

[1] FAO: https://www.fao.org/3/ai387e/AI387E06.htm

[2] The Royal Society: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0251

[3] Global Mangrove Alliance: https://www.mangrovealliance.org/news/study-reveals-important-connections-between-mangroves-and-marine-megafauna/

The Problem and Consequences.

Adequate data is only available for about half of the global area of mangroves. However, of those areas for which data has been collected, the last 20 years have lost 35% of the mangrove formations. The United Nations Environment Program and Hamilton (2013), estimate that shrimp farming causes approximately a quarter of the destruction of mangrove forests. 10-25% of mangrove-dependent species are on the IUCN red list. Shrimp farming, salinization, dams, urbanization are the causes of their decline.[4] The disappearance of mangroves greatly increases coastal vulnerability to sea rise and tsunami danger, but also to the loss of coastal biodiversity. Mangroves offer significant value for local populations acting as a means of storm protection and playing an important role in the pristine functioning of the ecosystem. Furthermore, climate change with less rainfall also has a negative impact on mangrove growth and salinity, which concentration increases.[5]

[4] IUCN Mangroves: https://www.iucn.org/content/mangrove-forests-worldwide-decline

[5] Scientific Report (2018): https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-31683-0

WSO Friend of the Sea initiatives and conservation projects

The World Sustainability Organization’s Friend of the Earth project provides financial support for Associação MarBrasil, an ONG located in the Paranà Brazilian region from 2004 to seek alternatives and solutions for the conservation and rational use of the marine-coastal ecosystem. By raising funds and awareness, we are helping MarBrasil to support biodiversity conservation initiatives through scientific research, education, and sustainable management of the Guaraqueçaba UNESCO area.

Our collaboration will help to continue the mangrove forest biomass and the associated invertebrates assessment and to start a carbon stock evaluation thanks to innovative technology.

Call to action

  • Choose only Friend of the Sea certified shrimps and prawns to save mangroves.
  • Sign Friend of the Sea Change.org petition to make it mandatory for shrimps to be verified Mangrove Safe.
  • Contribute to Mangroves reforesting initiatives making donations.

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