Nearly half of the world’s mangrove forests at risk of vanishing by 2050

More than half of the world's mangrove ecosystems are at risk of collapse, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) first global mangrove assessment

Nearly half of the world’s mangrove forests are in jeopardy of disappearing by the year 2050 due to the climate crisis, deforestation, and pollution. This alarming forecast comes from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), known for its role in compiling lists of endangered species. For the first time, the IUCN has classified the world’s mangrove ecosystems into 36 different regions (see map below) and assessed the threats and risk of collapse in each area.

“Urgent need for a global mangrove conservation plan,” says IUCN Director General

“There is an urgent need to develop a global plan for the conservation of mangroves,” stated Grethel Aguilar, Director General of the IUCN, in a press release.

According to the IUCN’s analysis, human activity is the primary cause of the decline of these critical ecosystems. Mangroves in southern India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives are among the most at risk. Additionally, systems in the South China Sea, Central Pacific, and the Eastern Coral Triangle near Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines have been classified as at risk of extinction.

mangroves in the world


Mangroves: crucial for biodiversity and human welfare

Mangroves, found worldwide, comprise dozens of different species of trees and shrubs along tropical coastlines, harboring a wide range of biodiversity. They serve as nurseries for fish and support diverse mammals such as tigers, African wild dogs, and sloths.

Mangrove ecosystems are remarkable in their ability to provide essential services to humans, including reducing the risk of coastal disasters, storing and sequestering carbon, and supporting fisheries. “The loss of these ecosystems would be disastrous for nature and for people across the globe,” concludes Angela Andrade, chair of the IUCN commission.


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