The first International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem was celebrated on 26 July 2016, to mark the critical importance of mangroves for food security, coastal protection, and mitigation of the impacts of climate change.
26 July 2016: The first International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem was celebrated on 26 July 2016, to mark the critical importance of mangroves for food security, coastal protection, and mitigation of the impacts of climate change.
The proclamation of the International Day by the General Conference of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2015 underscores the importance of mangroves as a “unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem.” UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves lists 86 sites that include mangrove areas, while its World Heritage List includes the Sundarbans, the largest unbroken mangrove system in the world, shared between Bangladesh and India. The UNESCO Global Geoparks Network also includes mangrove sites.
In her message to mark the Day, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova highlighted the ecosystem services afforded by mangroves, saying they “provide biomass, forest products and sustain fisheries. They contribute to the protection of coastlines. They help mitigate the effects of climate change and extreme weather events.”
Also on the occasion of the Day, the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) released a publication on mangroves in Mexico, which is available in Spanish only. The publication, titled ‘Conociendo los manglares, las selvas inundables y los humedales herbáceos’ (Knowing mangroves, flooded forests and herbaceous wetlands), is a practical manual. It compiles species information, structure of the ecosystems, their distribution, population dynamics, state of conservation, and legislation that regulates their conservation and use in Mexico. It also provides a collection of illustrative photographs.
Mangrove ecosystems, which are located in the tropics, mark the transition between sea and land. [UNESCO Webpage on the International Day of Mangroves] [UN Press Release] [ITTO Press Release]