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Mangrove conservation, effective action to approach socioenvironmental challenges

25 / Jul / 2022Policy Making

Mangrove conservation, effective action to approach socioenvironmental challenges

Healthy mangrove forests are Nature-based Solutions to fight climate change and support livelihoods.

Nature-based Solutions (NbS) include the protection, restoration or management of natural and semi-natural ecosystems; the sustainable management of productive land and sea environments, or the creation of man made ecosystems such as urban “green” spaces. The sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and scalability of NbS make them one of the best tools available to ensure the necessary transformations to mitigate climate change. Therefore, the conservation and restoration of mangrove forests is a management practice widely considered when approaching this global challenge.

Due to the geographical distribution of these ecosystems and considering the range of services they provide (food security, ecotourism, timber, etc.), projects aimed at promoting mangroves also support many of the challenges within developing countries. Such programs align with several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specially those which concern adaptation to climate change and the sustainable management of forest and coastal resources. Although mangroves themselves are sensitive to climate change, they also help reduce its impact, by sequestering carbon and acting as buffers for coastal settlements through the improvement of coastline stability, and protection from tropical storm surges. 

In this sense, their conservation is also contemplated within the NbS scope as an Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA), a strategy to help adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. At the core of sustainable development, human rights, climate action, and nature conservation, Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) recognises the symbiotic connections between people and ecosystems. And according to this, the IUCN Friends of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (FEBA) just launched a technical report called Ecosystem-based Adaptation and the successful implementation and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, which dives into the connections between EbA and each of the 17 SDGs.

The risk assessment of mangrove ecosystems utilizing the RLE framework is crucial to determine the threats that could hinder their integrity and compromise their contribution to human livelihood and climate resilience. Knowing their conservation status will guide planning and monitoring activities to guarantee the ecosystem services above mentioned. 

Written by: Susana Barreto




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