United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 1: NO POVERTY
SDG 2: ZERO HUNGER
SDG 6: CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION a
Mangroves have distinct prop roots that extend out of the water, creating a sub-canopy maze of dense interlocking struts that support the mangrove trees. Beyond plant support, these roots are able to filter nitrates, phosphates and other pollutants out of the water, which improve the quality of water that flows from inland sources into the estuarine environment. In 2016, Guanabara Bay was chosen as the location for the sailing events of the Rio Olympics in Brazil. But without basic sanitation for just under half of Rio's households, raw sewage was able to flow freely into the bay. 35 ha of mangrove restoration in the bay, act as a natural sewage water treatment center, working with other initiatives to clean the bay in time for the Olympic games and providing the best long-term prospect for the health of the bay. The full story can be found here.
SDG 8: DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
Across Kenya an estimated 40% of mangrove has been degraded. However at The Lamu archipelago, conservation organizations and women’s groups have embarked on a project that offers women loans to open small businesses, from which they can qualify for larger loans. As part of this, the women's groups are able to undergo training on mangrove restoration and conservation, learning how, where, and when to plant mangroves. In addition, members of the Mtangawanda Mangrove Restoration Women Group are also able to venture into other businesses such as controlled mangrove harvesting which provides construction materials, which can be sold. Mangrove restoration has brought the recovery of marine breeding grounds while members look to start a carbon credit project, which will bring additional sources of income. More information on the project is here.
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
The Matang mangrove forest is Malaysia is a textbook example of responsible consumption and production through the sustainable use of mangrove forests. The forest has been selectively harvesting trees on 30 year cropping cycles, which are then heated in kilns to make charcoal, which are used for a variety of purposes, such as rudimentary filters and fuel. This forest has been harvested in this since the beginning of the 20th century, thus the continued practices today which provide local products and income, are testament to the benefits of sustainable forest use.
SDG 13: Climate action
Mangrove forests are among the most carbon rich ecosystems in the whole of the tropics. They have large aboveground biomass values, reach as much as 910 tons of biomass per hectare, but their real carbon storing ability in in their soils. Here, in this waterlogged environment, leaf litter and other detritus doesn't break down easily. This prevents the carbon held in this organic matter from escaping as carbon dioxide and it is instead trapped and held in the sediment. Mangroves are therefore a nature based solution to climate change, capable of taking carbon from the atmosphere and locking it away
sdg 14: life below water
The tangle of interlocking submerged mangrove roots are the perfect habitat to a range of aquatic species of fish and crustaceans. These species are attracted to mangrove forests because of the high availability of food, their cooler waters which have a higher oxygen content and the habitat and security that can be found among the root systems. This security makes them ideal nursery habitats for juvenile fish, with critically endangered goliath groupers only venturing out when they reach a size of 1 m in length. Mangroves are therefore a critical component of the life cycle of these species, with the quantity of mangrove being directly linked to the quantity and numbers of fish species found. The support of these ecosystems has impacts for the fishing industry and ties in directly to local incomes.
SDG 15: Life on land
The Sundarbans mangrove forest, is the largest contiguous mangrove forest in the world. It is located on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers On the India/Bangladesh border. India’s Sundarbans were designated a World Heritage site in 1987. The area is known for supporting a wide range of biodiversity, including niche species such as the Royal Bengal Tiger. The Sundarbans is one of only a handful of remaining forests big enough to hold several hundred tigers, with estimates of up to 500 tigers living in among the mangroves. the forest supports a wide range of biodiversity including several species of mammals and reptiles and at least 200 species of bird, including threatened species such as the lesser adjutant and endemic species such as the brown-winged kingfisher.