Mangrove forests are critical ecosystems that provide benefits to people and biodiversity. Yet mangroves are under severe threat—having undergone dramatic declines in extent and health over recent decades. Currently, global momentum is building behind several initiatives seeking to increase mangrove protection and restore them where lost. Identifying impediments to effective mangrove conservation is urgently needed in order to maximize these initiatives’ conservation impact and to improve biodiversity and socioeconomic outcomes. This project explores how different threat levels and national governance contexts affect mangrove conservation outcomes. We bring together a diverse international working group representing academics, legal scholars, conservation practitioners, and government institutions, exceptionally placed to generate actionable science. Specifically, we will:
- Synthesize the recent data on mangrove trends and threats to build a mangrove threat index
- Build a typology of national mangrove governance approaches for 10 case study countries
- Develop a statistical model quantifying how mangrove cover changes in response to threats, national governance, and presence or absence of protected areas (including management effectiveness) at sites within case study countries.
This project’s participants bring expert knowledge of our case study countries, which include: Australia, Cambodia, Colombia, Madagascar, Malaysia, the Mesoamerican Reef (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico), and Vietnam. Our project is uniquely placed—with practitioners and advisors to decision-makers within the group—to identify actionable insights from our results, shape communication outputs (policy briefs and infographics) to resonate with these communities, and then share them through our existing networks (Global Mangrove Alliance, Regional Mangrove Networks).