However, being on the coast also makes these vital ecosystems vulnerable to development. Fifty percent of the world’s mangroves have been wiped out in the past half-century, and human activity has been the primary driver of that damage.
So, WWF is going big on mangroves. We’ve created the Global Mangrove Alliance with partners including Conservation International, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, The Nature Conservancy, and Wetlands International. The alliance’s goal is to halt all further loss of existing mangroves and, by 2030, restore half of recently lost mangrove area and double the current area of protected mangroves.
We’re also scaling up WWF’s efforts in four countries—Colombia, Madagascar, Fiji, and Mexico— where hundreds of thousands of people benefit from mangroves. In these regions, communities and Indigenous groups, as well as local and national governments, are putting the mechanisms in place to increase and strengthen climate-smart mangrove protection and management while improving the resilience of communities and livelihoods. Learn more about that work. This issue also carries a story about our work in the Sundarbans, the world’s only coastal mangrove tiger habitat.
My oldest son and I traveled recently to Colombia, where we had the privilege of spending time with the Arhuaco and Kogi peoples, who believe in the study and understanding of nature as the basis of humanity’s survival. We ended our trip marveling at a spectacular expanse of mangroves in the mouth of the Magdalena River in northern Colombia.
I am still reflecting on the wisdom of the Arhuaco and the Kogi. If we take the time to understand these trees, where sea meets land, where life begins, and where protection against disruption is provided, we cannot help but make them a priority in our global efforts to build resilience in the face of climate change.
President & CEO