The Source, our Annual Review 2019


No system of concrete coastal defences is as cheap or as effective as a belt of mangroves. The Mangrove Capital Africa programme works across three major sites with the aim to restore more than a million hectares of African mangroves. A joint management plan for the Rufiji delta, Tanzania, puts villagers at its heart, creating a partnership in which their skills and local agency can be deployed for conservation. Developing alternative livelihoods, including oyster farming and honey production, helps ease pressure on the mangroves.


By Fred Pearce

Mangroves are backwaters. Neither land nor ocean, they are where seawater and freshwater, silt and salt, mingle in creeks and swamps. To many, these ecological backwaters are seen as economic and social backwaters too, ripe for economic development to advance the lives of their inhabitants. That is a big mistake, one that Wetlands International is working hard to correct. Ecologically, mangroves are immensely rich habitats, providing valuable services. The tangled roots of most mangrove species are nurseries for an estimated tenth of all marine life. And in a world of ever more intense tropical storms, eroding currents and rising sea levels, their dense roots and foliage are vital defences for the land against wind and waves.

Healthy functioning mangroves are vital habitats above and below water.



Wetlands Annual Review 2019

Wetlands Annual Review 2019

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