The vast tangled mangrove forests that sweep along so many tropical coasts are one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems. They also play crucial roles in protecting coastlines from erosion and providing communities with resources from food to firewood, and are one of our most effective carbon sinks. Yet they continue to be destroyed and degraded. In their Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) for 2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimated the loss of 1.04 million hectares (2.57 million acres) over the last 30 years. However, there is some cause for some optimism. According to figures from the FRA, the rate of global mangrove loss has more than halved over three decades, from 46,700 ha (115,400 acres) of loss per year between 1990 and 2000, to 21,200 ha (52,400 acres) per year between 2010 and 2020. However, not all regions have experienced a reduction in mangrove deforestation. The FRA found that in Asia, there has been a huge increase in mangrove loss: from 1,030 ha (2,550 acres) per year to 38,200 ha (94,400 acres) over the same 30-year period. Now conservationists hope that a process called ecological mangrove restoration (EMR), which is proving far more successful at restoring these forests than previous well-intended but often ill-conceived efforts, will help turn the tide once and for all in the battle to save the mangrove. Spurred mangrove (Ceriops tagal) seedlings await planting at Watamu, Kenya. Image from Shutterstock via IUCN. Vanishing blue forests There are about 70…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer