How can we protect and restore mangroves?

Currently, around 42% of all remaining mangroves fall within legally designated protected areas, albeit recognizing that the levels of actual protection provided can be variable [1]. Such zones range from small, locally managed marine protected areas to vast, nationally governed mangrove forests such as the Surdurbans — which are protected in almost their entirety across Bangladesh and India. Over 74% of mangroves in South America have official protection, compared to 13% in East Asia and only 9% for the Pacific Islands. Unfortunately, mangrove loss still occurs in protected areas. These sites can be compromised by natural events such as storms, as well as ineffective habitat management and development in surrounding areas.

From a restoration perspective, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and partnerships such as REDD+ (a UN-approved model to save forests and stop carbon emissions in the process) and the Global Mangrove Alliance want to increase mangrove cover by 20% by 2030. The Bonn Challenge has commenced and already brought over 210 million hectares of degraded and deforested ecosystems worldwide — including mangroves — into restoration. The very best restoration seeks to return a mangrove forest as close as possible to its original condition. Project activities fall into three categories: 1) Facilitating natural regeneration by removing a specific threat, 2) Reestablishing normal tidal movement and sediment inputs, or 3) Active reseeding or replanting of new trees.

You can learn how Only One approaches their projects to protect and revitalize mangroves on their Projects page.

  1. Spalding, M. D. & Leal, M. (eds.) (2021), The State of the World’s Mangroves 2021. Global Mangrove Alliance. Designed and produced by MSQ Sustain.
About the author

Vasiliki I. Chalastani is a PhD candidate at the Laboratory of Harbour Works, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece. Her thesis, “Optimization Approaches for Marine Spatial Planning,” aims to develop tools for optimal use of the marine environment through reconciliation of human activities and conservation features. Previously, following her undergraduate studies as a civil engineer at NTUA, Chalastani pursued her MSc, “Water Air Pollution and Energy at Global and Regional Scales,” at École Polytechnique, Paris, France. While in France, she has completed an internship at the Laboratoire Océanographique de Villefranche and at École Normale Supérieure on ocean-based solutions. From 2018 to 2019, Chalastani acted as a consultant for the Alternate Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy of Greece, Nektarios Santorinios. In 2018, she worked for the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), Paris, with Alexandre K. Magnan, on the issue of climate change adaptation. In 2019, Chalastani worked for the Saudi Red Sea Project, developing a preliminary marine spatial planning initiative, under the supervision of Carlos M. Duarte. She is a member of the National Chamber of Engineers and the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN), Greece.