A recent report by The Mangrove Alliance has highlighted how mangrove forests appear to be getting healthier, sparking hope for their recovery. Mangroves are vital for the environment, as they help to absorb storm surge impacts as well as carbon dioxide. They also provide a foundation for naturally rich ecosystems to flourish, and allow for the production of commercially important fish. In turn, this helps to support fishers who are dependant on these fish to maintain their livelihoods.
Within the report are several newly completed global maps, showcasing approximately 147,000km2 of global mangrove coverage. The maps show a substantial decrease in loss rates - five times lower when compared to levels from thirty years ago. There have also been gains in certain areas, such as in river mouths anddeltas.
This data suggests that mangrove forests are getting healthier, while numbers may also be improving due to increased recent conservation efforts.
This is an encouraging step towards The Mangrove Alliance reaching their 2030 goal of preventing 168km2 of avoided loss, alongside doubling down on protections and restoring losses. Already, over 40% of remaining mangroves are formally protected as a result of wider conservation efforts, and groups and organizations around the world are starting to take notice and get involved.
For example, a company called Distant Imagery is helping to restore mangrove forests by using drone technology. The drones can drop around 2,000 germinated seeds or 500 seedballs in just ten minutes, which means that there is potential to re-build mangrove forests at an encouraging rate.