Mangroves, characterized by salt-tolerant trees and shrubs in estuarine and intertidal areas, are vital components of coastal ecosystems.
Common features include aerial roots and succulent leaves, adapting to regions where freshwater and saltwater converge.
Notable examples include the Sundarbans, the world’s largest contiguous mangrove forest spanning India and Bangladesh, along with tropical regions worldwide.


Role of Mangroves:

  • Littoral Forest Ecosystem: Thriving in saline or brackish waters, mangroves constitute a distinctive littoral forest ecosystem.
  • Natural Coastal Guards: Function as natural coastal guards and protectors, mitigating the impact of high winds, waves, and erosion.
  • Bio-shields: Often referred to as “bio-shields” due to their root systems, mangroves play a crucial role in preventing coastal and soil erosion.
  • Carbon Sink: Act as significant carbon sinks, absorbing more carbon than they release, contributing to global warming mitigation.
  • Economic Significance: Source of livelihood for coastal communities through activities such as fish farming, honey collection, and non-timber forest produce.
  • WWF’s ‘Natural Mangrove Honey’ Project: The World Wildlife Fund’s project in the Sundarbans showcases successful empowerment of rural communities through mangrove-related economic activities.
  • Tourism Opportunities: Offer various tourism opportunities, including trekking, nature trails, kayaking, boating, and nature walks, contributing to local economies.


State of Forest Report, 2023: Top five states with maximum mangrove cover include West Bengal, Gujarat, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

MISHTI Project: The MISHTI project focuses on increasing mangrove cover along the coast, aiming to conserve biodiversity supported by mangroves and prevent the felling of mangroves.

International Collaboration: The UAE and Indonesia-led alliance, supported by countries like India, Australia, Japan, Spain, and Sri Lanka, aims to strengthen the global conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystems. This collaboration was launched during the UN climate summit COP27.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish December 11, 2023