Story | 13 Dec, 2023

Mangroves for life

The US-based Mangrove Action Project (MAP) is helping local communities and governments across the world to restore their precious mangroves

Mangrove Action Project (MAP) is a US-based non-profit which collaborates with stakeholders at all levels to preserve, conserve and restore the world’s mangrove forests. Formed in 1992, the organisation works on restoration and education projects across the tropics and is focused on “viable, long-term, equitable solutions that place the local community at centre stage”

Mangroves are facing significant conservation challenges due to habitat destruction, climate change and other anthropogenic factors

Our major conservation challenges…

This loss and degradation has significant ecological and socio-economic consequences, including the loss of critical habitats for wildlife, reduced coastal protection against natural disasters, and decreased availability of resources for local communities that rely on mangroves for their livelihoods.

By protecting and restoring these crucial ecosystems, we can ensure communities have access to the resources they need to thrive, while also safeguarding the ecological health of our planet. 

Mangroves are dynamic and complex ecosystems, and there is no single solution to restoring them.

We need to consider each site and context individually, and by working alongside nature and taking into account mangrove ecology and biology, we can restore diverse and resilient forests.

Our recent work and successes…

In February of this year, we went to El Salvador to follow up on some mangrove restoration training we conducted in 2011. Over the last 12 years, the local communities, NGOs and government departments have been working hard to restore their mangroves, and the results are incredible. By digging over 10km of channels in the Bay of Jiquilisco, and without having to plant any trees, they have restored hundreds of hectares of mangrove forest. 

We also recently went to the Bahamas to conduct some in-depth mangrove restoration training for community members, local associations, NGOs and government staff. These workshops aimed to build capacity of local stakeholders and demonstrate an effective and sustainable approach to mangrove restoration.

On being a Member of IUCN…

As a Member of IUCN, we have access to a vast network of experts in the field of conservation and restoration, and we are able to stay up to date on the latest developments and best practices.

There are also great opportunities for collaboration and network-building. The IUCN biodiversity assessments help us to evaluate the status of species and ecosystems we work with. They provide useful information for project planning and decision-making.

And finally…

It was the words of a village headman in an Andaman fishing community that actually inspired the creation of Mangrove Action Project over 30 years ago. “If there are no mangrove forests, then the sea will have no meaning. It is like having a tree with no roots, for the mangroves are the roots of the sea.”