Mangroves in Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia. ©Joel VodellFAO has carried out considerable work on assessments and research connected to mangroves, using both local and international knowledge, to assess the extent and management of mangroves. In addition, FAO is committed to supporting countries in meeting their international commitments, including the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement, as well as restoration pledges and biodiversity strategies. When it comes to mangroves, FAO promotes the strengthening of enabling environments and integrated approaches to sustainable mangrove management.
In the area of forestry, FAO supports countries in the implementation of sustainable forest management. Important efforts in this regard include: 1) providing reliable and valuable information to policy makers in countries; 2) providing technical knowledge and assistance to forestry projects in the field; and 3) helping countries to implement institutional arrangements and policy instruments that will improve the livelihoods of all forest stakeholders, especially those most dependent on forest resources.
Several FAO forestry programmes contribute directly to improved management and monitoring of mangroves:
- The Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) provides essential information for understanding the extent of forest resources, their condition, management and uses. FRA is released every five years, and key findings from the most recent FRA 2020 have been released. The FRA reports on the extent of mangroves by country as a specific forest category, and the FRA team is currently working on assessing the global extent of mangroves under the FRA 2020 Remote Sensing Survey.
- The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism (FLRM) was launched by FAO during the 22nd Session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO) in June 2014. The FLRM aims at scaling up, monitoring and reporting on FLR activities to contribute to the Bonn Challenge and Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The FLRM provides direct support to countries, with principal focuses on: developing the enabling conditions needed to take restoration work to scale; providing innovative technical support and capacity development for large-scale FLR implementation; and supporting work in monitoring, reporting, assessment and evaluation of FLR. The FLRM is currently supporting national-level FLR actions in 19 countries, some of which include restoration of mangroves.
- The UN-REDD Programme, a collaborative programme of FAO, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched in 2008, is currently supporting various countries in their nationally-led REDD+ processes by providing technical guidance, data and tools for improved decision‑making and the implementation of adaptive measures in response to the impacts of climate change. There could be further support for the development of projects aimed at restoring, conserving and sustainably managing mangrove resources as a means to reduce emissions in countries that have identified mangrove ecosystems within their national REDD+ strategies. For instance, a UN-REDD project recently implemented in Vietnam addressed the issues of mangrove conversion and degradation, with a focus on illegal conversion to shrimp farms.
Furthermore, FAO is an international leader in technical aspects of fisheries management and aquaculture, and assists and monitors countries’ delivery of the 1995 Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. One focus of FAO is assisting the implementation of activities within the Blue Growth Initiative (BGI), a global initiative that aims at building resilience of coastal communities and restoring the productive potential of fisheries and aquaculture, in order to support food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable management of living aquatic resources. The BGI focuses on key aquatic ecosystems including mangroves that are recognized as providing valuable ecosystem services.
Finally, FAO works on a coherent and coordinated approach to sustainable land and water management, stressing the importance of integrated landscape management approaches based on the three dimensions (economic, social and environmental). With this expertise, FAO is able to provide crucial knowledge and capacity to foster effective integrated management of both land and water resources in mangrove ecosystems, while harnessing the potential of mangroves for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Since 2006, FAO has led more than 30 projects directly related to mangrove ecosystems worldwide, addressing restoration, conservation and sustainable utilization of mangroves, community-based mangrove management, integrated mangrove management, and enhanced food security and income generation through mangroves.
Ongoing FAO projects that includes key focus on mangrove management include: