We're on a mission to highlight how mangrove forests can be used to help achieve numerous United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Here you'll find the knowledge and tools that will help make this a reality!
Mangrove forests are among Earth’s most threatened ecosystems. The loss of mangrove forests globally is estimated up to 0.39% annually, with regional highs in excess of 8%. The conversion of mangrove forests for aquaculture and agriculture has been the most prominent cause of mangrove forest loss since the mid 1990s. Much of this has been focused in Southeast Asia where the demands of global food production have driven the replacement of mangrove forests with aquaculture. This has highlighted by the scientific community but recently mangrove loss has experienced an increase in awareness from a range of prominent international policy and decision makers. This has been brought to the attention of the United Nations who recognize that mangrove forests play a critical role in the achievement of sustainable development goals. The conservation of mangroves is vital to achieve these goals.
To achieve this, policy and decision makers rely on national and global scale maps of mangrove extent, change and carbon (including AGB) to make informed decisions on where and when to attribute resource for mangrove preservation and rehabilitation. The accuracy and usability of such datasets is therefore of paramount importance as they are used directly within initiatives that shape local policy and have a direct impact on the lives of local populations.
However, the transition of a scientific dataset into a direct application can be problematic, as research-oriented data is often designed to meet a different set of requirements than application focused data. Given the quantity of global scale mangrove datasets that have become available within the last decade, there are multiple maps available each on mangrove extent, biomass and carbon. Whilst this influx of information is important for advancing scientific knowledge, such large quantities of data can become problematic when global scale information is used within applications designed to have local scale relevance.
Our intention is to review the current existing available global mangrove datasets that quantify mangrove extent/cover structure (biomass) and soil carbon. Our overarching goal is to provide transparency on mangrove mapping within the research and applications communities, by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of existing work and proving a pathway for global scale mangrove accounting into the future. We do this by provide two Google Earth Engine applications - one that seeks to help users select the mangrove dataset most applicable to their needs and another that provides statistics from each dataset on a per country basis.