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Natural Resources Management

Five benefits of mangrove forests

Publication date: 14-02-2024, Read time: 3 min

Asia, Africa, the Americas - the mangrove species can be found in tropical and sub-tropical areas worldwide. These trees, with their characteristic visible roots and low branches, are protected with pride by those who live around them. But what makes mangroves so special? In this article we are going to describe the five main benefits of mangrove forests:

List describing the topic

  1. They host a wide diversity of species. Mangroves are home to fish, shrimps, larvae and algae, among many others. Their connection to the floor makes the perfect living space for small animals, which in some cases eat mangrove leaves. Their perfect anatomy makes mangroves an ecosystem themselves, improving biodiversity of natural areas.
  2. They are key to fighting climate change. Mangroves absorb more CO2 than any other ecosystem – even more than tropical forests. They store carbon within themselves and cycle their release. That is why conserving mangroves means fighting climate change. 
  3. They protect shores against erosion. The mangrove structure is well adhered to the coastline floor, protecting the shores against erosion caused by storms or hurricanes. Their strong roots dissipate strong waves and slow down the tides.
  4. They improve water quality. Mangrove roots filter pollutants and trap sediments, helping coral reefs and aquatic ecosystems to maintain their health.
  5. They promote economic activity, such as shrimp farming and ecotourism. By hosting such biodiversity and being a natural habitat for shrimp, mangroves become a crucial element in shrimp farms, as in the Mekong Delta region. Ecotourists may visit these regions to enjoy the calmness of sailing between mangrove trees and, in doing so, contribute to the local economy. 

What do we do at ITC?

The ITC Faculty developed a tailor-made training programme in Vietnam in collaboration with Aquaculture Solutions and Can Tho University, funded by NUFFIC as part of the Orange Knowledge Programme. This project aims to enhance the development of sustainable shrimp farming and the preservation of mangrove forests. Through a series of courses, the participants interacted with stakeholders and used Geo-Information Science to address the bad practices that emerge from high-intensity farming.

To learn more, visit the page Why Mangrove Restoration is Key to Sustainable Shrimp Production

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Natural Resources Management
Last edited: 07-05-2024

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