Mangrove Specialist Group statement for the 2014 World Parks Congress: Mangroves: Protect, Restore, Expand.
The recently established IUCN SSC Mangrove Specialist Group, aims to support mangrove research and conservation projects by bringing together experts in the field to share their knowledge. Hosted by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the group aims to; assess the conservation status of mangroves; identify, quantify and prioritise threats; and develop plans to conserve the most threatened species and habitats.
IUCN Mangrove Specialist Group Statement for 2014 World Parks Congress: Mangroves: Protect, Restore, Expand
Mangrove ecosystems are one of the most undervalued ecosystems on earth. These remarkable forests are immensely important to coastal communities, providing a source of food and resources, protecting coastlines, preventing soil erosion as well as providing a global benefit in regulating our climate. Yet mangroves are also among the most threatened ecosystems globally and they continue to be cleared and degraded at an alarming rate. The three main drivers of mangrove destruction and loss are population growth, economic development, and demand for cultivated seafood.
The IUCN Mangrove Specialist Group, comprising of international experts in mangrove research and conservation, is working to a) assess the conservation status of mangrove systems; b) identify, quantify and prioritise threats; c) conserve the most threatened species and habitats; and d) disseminate best practices and share successful approaches for mangrove conservation, restoration and sustainable use. We recognise that protected areas are a vital tool for conserving mangroves, as part of the wider Global Action Plan under development by our group.