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Please Help Mangrove Trees

Please help save mangrove trees. They are so utterly essential, yet inexcusably ignored. The ramifications of losing them would be unbearable, and yet we are desperately in need of your support to stop that happening.

By making a donation today you could help fight this crisis on two fronts – helping plant new mangrove saplings and helping protect the forests that remain undamaged.

Please donate today.

It’s no secret that the forests of the world are under severe pressure from human activities. We tend to think of tropical forests, and in particular the Amazon, as bearing the brunt of the impacts of deforestation and other drivers of forest clearance. While tropical forests are faring badly, there is another forest type that has been subject to more degradation and destruction than any forest type on Earth over the last 50 years: mangrove forests.

The level of destruction has been staggering. Since 1980 alone more than 20% of the world’s mangrove forests have been cleared, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Less than half the Earth’s original mangrove forest cover remains.

An incredible group of species, mangroves obtain fresh water from salt water, enabling them to thrive in harsh and unstable coastal habitats. They do this by either secreting salt through their leaves or, in some cases, blocking the absorption of salt at their roots.

Mangroves perform incredibly important ecological functions. They provide nursery areas for juveniles of thousands of fish, crustacean and mollusc species. In some places, their dense root and branch systems play a key role in coastal protection, acting as a crucial barrier against storm surges, flooding and erosion, which will pose a growing threat as climate change worsens. Their thick, tangled root systems also encourage the deposition of nutrient-rich sediments from rivers, trapping these before they reach the ocean and smother other important habitats, such as coral reefs.

Alongside all of this, mangrove ecosystems are critical climate regulators as both the plants and their associated sediments store large amounts of carbon. The UN has estimated that the total amount of carbon held in the world’s mangroves is around 4.2 billion tonnes, equivalent to the annual emissions of China and the US put together. Not only do they store huge amounts of carbon, they are hugely efficient at doing it, absorbing and storing carbon at up to 10 times the rate of terrestrial forests.

Yet their outsized role as climate regulators also means the consequence of clearing mangroves has an outsized climate impact: emissions from mangrove deforestation account for up to 10% of emissions from deforestation globally, despite these trees covering just 0.7% of Earth’s land.

This is why we’re working to protect and restore mangroves, and it’s why we need your donations to help do so.

Who are FFI?

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is the world’s oldest international conservation charity. Over the last 100 years, we have literally saved species from extinction and – with the help of our vice-president, Sir David Attenborough – even helped bring mountain gorillas back from the very brink. We work to protect plants and animals around the globe, and spend 94% of our income on charitable activities.

If you value the natural world – if you think it should be protected for its own sake as well as humanity’s – then please support Fauna & Flora International.
Sir David Attenborough OM FRS Vice-president and FFI member since 1959