How does restoration sustain livelihoods?

Mangroves have long been recognized by coastal communities as a critical ecosystem with numerous benefits. These ocean forests are biodiversity hotspots, protect the shoreline, and regulate sediment and water quality by filtering pollutants and taking up nutrients, but also sustain livelihoods.

In many countries, over 80% of small-scale fisheries rely on mangroves, and 4.1 million fisherfolk operate in the mangrove forests worldwide [1]. Restoration is a proven efficient measure for boosting fish stocks; for instance, a recent study showed early increases in artisanal shore-based fisheries [2]. Mangroves are also important for national tourism industries and community recreation: a recent survey of data from TripAdvisor reported almost 4,000 mangrove “attractions” in 93 different countries and territories [4].

Restoring these ocean trees means that all these livelihood support measures can continue, as without the mangroves, these livelihoods would be severely threatened.

  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.
  2. Debrot, A. O., Plas, A., Boesono, H., Prihantoko, K., Baptist, M. J., Murk, A. J., & Tonneijck, F. H. (2022), Early increases in artisanal shore-based fisheries in a Nature-based Solutions mangrove rehabilitation project on the north coast of Java. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 267. doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2022.107761
  3. Spalding, M. & Parrett, C. L. (2019), Global patterns in mangrove recreation and tourism. Marine Policy, 110, 103540. doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2019.103540.
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.