Mangrove Restoration Potential
Mangrove forests are important for food production, carbon storage and sequestration, coastal protection, water purification, and tourism, which is why there is an increasing need not only to prevent further loses, but to increase mangrove areas through restoration.
TNC has partnered with IUCN to develop a global model and map of mangrove restoration potential to help practitioners prioritize areas, and as a way to support and encourage mangrove restoration projects globally.
The model incorporates information on both current and historic distribution of mangrove forests, as well as local drivers of mangrove loss and degradation (e.g., urbanization and industrial development, conversion to agriculture and aquaculture ponds, deforestation for fuelwood or timber, altered freshwater regimes, pollution and coastal erosion), which can vary in extent and severity depending on the region. Environmental (e.g., wave energy, tides) and social factors (e.g., population density, demographics), as well as future projections of sea level rise, urbanization, and weather events are other factors that can influence restoration suitability, and will also be incorporated into the model where possible.
Model results can be viewed in an online mapping and decision-support tool that can be used by environmental groups to show the extent of degraded mangroves, how much land is available for restoration, identify priority restoration areas, and kick-start opportunities for implementing restoration projects. The project will also result in modeled ecosystem service values for restored sites.
Mangroves are rightly considered the poster child for ecosystem service values. By highlighting the long-term value of mangroves, this work can reach beyond the conservation sector to engage governments and local communities in future restoration projects.
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