July 18, 2010
http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0718-hanc ... _loss.html
.A new report by the United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) and the Nature Conservancy has found that mangrove forests are being lost at staggering rates worldwide: since 1980 one fifth of the world's mangroves have been felled.
Mangroves, which grow in saline coastal habitats, are disappearing four times faster than other forests. They are being destroyed largely for aquaculture, agriculture, and coastal development worldwide. According to the report, even surviving mangroves are often degraded.
As mangrove forests disappear worldwide (at a rate of 0.7 percent a year), researchers are beginning to understand their full importance. The forests serve as nurseries for a variety marine fish, underpinning global fisheries and providing additional food security in some developing nations. In addition, they store large amounts of carbon and provide buffers against erosion.