Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Toolbox

The world’s mangroves 2000–2020 report is now out


Rome, August 2023.

Mangrove forests occur in many tropical and subtropical environments, providing hundreds of millions of coastal people with important ecosystems services. Despite these benefits, mangrove forests are among the most threatened and vulnerable ecosystems worldwide. 

This new report provides global and regional estimates of the area covered by mangrove forests, including area changes between 2000 and 2020. It analyses the drivers of these global, regional and subregional changes for the periods 2000–2010 and 2010–2020 with the aim of improving understanding of these drivers, their interactions and how their relative importance has shifted over time.

The study estimated the total global area of mangroves in 2020 at 14.8 million ha, of which nearly 44 percent (6.48 million ha) is in South and Southeast Asia. There was a net decline in global mangrove area of 284 thousand ha between 2000 and 2020. The rate of net global mangrove loss slowed between the two decadal periods, with the net loss of mangrove area decreasing by 44 percent between the two periods, from 18.2 thousand ha per year in 2000–2010 to 10.2 thousand ha per year in 2010–2020. Accordingly, the annual rate of mangrove loss globally declined from 0.12 percent in 2000–2020 to 0.07 percent in 2010–2020.  

You can dive deeper into mangroves by reading the interactive story. Or look at the study findings in the report, discovering surprising facts about this unique forest type, with a look at the innovative approaches used to uncover them.

Photo credit: ©FAO/Adolfo Kindgard