Avit Bhowmik | Environmental Scientist · Climate Solutionist

Mangroves are disappearing, here is why

Mangroves, the coastal cousins of the inland forests, do not only represent a unique set of rich biodiversity but also provide important livelihoods, coastal defence, and carbon sinks. Yet despite their critical importance, mangrove forests sized greater than the entire Tokyo city (8,600 km2) disappeared during the last three decades. South and Southeast Asian region encountered the highest loss with Indonesia topping the countries.

In a new research, colleagues and myself synthesized the key social-ecological drivers of global mangrove deforestation by reviewing about two hundred published scientific studies over the last four decades (from 1980 to 2021). We found forest clearing and pollution originating from aquaculture and agriculture drove the majority of the mangrove loss. Coastline erosion, salinity intrusion and acidity driven by climate change was the second driving factor. Worldwide urbanization was the third major social-ecological driver with visible deforestation impacts in Asian and African regions. Most importantly, these drivers interacted with each other, which made them stronger and worse. For more, see below.

- Read the scientific article published in the journal Sustainability.

- Read the news article published on Karlstad University website.

- Read the media article published in The Conversation.

- Read the news covered by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Race to Zero.