The importance of mangroves to people: a call to action
Mangroves are being destroyed at a rate 3 - 5 times greater than the average rates of forest loss, costing billions in economic damages and denying millions of people the ecosystem services they need to survive, according to a new report by UNEP. The Importance of Mangroves: A Call to Action launched at the 16th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans, describes how emissions resulting from mangrove losses make up nearly one-fifth of global emissions from deforestation, resulting in economic damages of some US$6 - 42 billion annually. Mangroves are also threatened by climate change, which could result in the loss of a further 10 - 15 per cent of mangroves by 2100. Found in 123 countries and covering 152,000 square kilometers, over 100 million people around the world live within 10 kilometres of large mangrove forests, benefiting from a variety of goods and services such as fisheries and forest products, clean water and protection against erosion and extreme weather events.