According to recently published first-ever ‘Global mangrove assessment results show that over half of the world’s mangrove ecosystems are at risk of collapsing.

About the Study: 

  • This study was conducted using the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Ecosystems, a global standard for assessing ecosystem health.

Key Findings of the study:

  • Importance of Mangroves: Mangroves are vital habitats for millions of people living in vulnerable communities worldwide. 
  • Extinction risk: Half of the Mangroves are on the brink of extinction, with almost one in five facing serious risk.
  • Threats from Climate Change:  one-third (33%) of mangrove ecosystems are threatened by climate change.
  • Climate change and sea-level rise will result in the loss of 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon stored (16 percent of the total current carbon stored in mangroves) by 2050, currently valued at least USD 13 billion at market prices in voluntary carbon markets. Increased frequency and intensity of cyclones/typhoons/hurricanes and tropical storms impact mangrove coastlines all around the world.
  • Impact on sea level: One-third of the world’s mangrove ecosystem provinces will be severely affected , with 25 percent of the global mangrove area predicted to be submerged in the next 50 years.

Importance of Mangroves:

  • They provide vital services to people and the environment and they help reduce the risk of coastal disasters, store and capture large amounts of carbon, and support fishing activities. 
  • Mangroves store approximately 11 billion tons of carbon, which is nearly three times the amount stored by tropical forests of similar size. 
  • These ecosystems also protect around 15.4 million people and property worth $65 billion annually from coastal disasters. 
  • By 2050, these numbers could increase to 15.5 million people and $118 billion due to population growth and rising property values in the coastal areas.

Initiatives for Mangroves:

In India:

  • Government Initiatives for Mangrove Protection
  • Promotional efforts include a Central scheme called ‘Conservation and Management of Mangroves and Coral Reefs’ under the National Coastal Mission Programme. 
  • Regulatory measures are enforced through laws like the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification (2019) and acts such as the Environment (Protection) Act 1986,  and the Biological Diversity Act 2002 etc.
  • ‘Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes (MISHTI)’ Program to promote and conserve mangroves. 

Around the World: 

  • WWF’s Mangroves for Community and Climate Project: It aims to safeguard 7% of the world’s mangrove forests.
  • the Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA) goals to Increase global mangrove cover by 20% by 2030.
  • UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030)
  • The Blue Carbon Initiative

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