By Enric Sala
Mangroves are trees that grow miraculously on seawater, fringing some of the tropical shores of our planet.
They shelter a wealth of wildlife, protecting more than 3,000 fish species, many of which are of commercial importance.
Mangrove trees can sequester up to ten times as much of our carbon pollution per hectare as rainforests, making them an important player in limiting the impacts of climate change.
Mangrove roots also help anchor shorelines around the world, protecting coasts from the devastating impacts of storm waves – much more effectively than concrete sea walls.
Despite all these benefits, mangroves tend to be undervalued. The explosive growth of shrimp farming, urban expansion, climate change and other aspects of economic development reduced mangrove forests by as much as 35% between 1980 and 2000. 11 of some 70 mangrove species are at risk of becoming extinct. Read more…