Mangrove Deforestation between 2000 and 2012 Source: Section 18.104.22.168; http:// https://www.ipbes.net/assessment-reports/asia-pacific
Significance: Mangroves represent a unique ecosystem in coastal area supporting a rich biodiversity and providing a range of nature’s contribution to people including provisioning, regulating and supporting, crucial for the sustenance of local communities. There ecosystem service benefits have been valued at an average of 4200 US$/hectare/year.* They provide coastal protection against storms and flooding, are critical nursery habitats for fish, birds and marine mammals, act as effective nutrient filters.* South-East Asian mangroves are among the most species diverse in the world, having 268 plant species including 52 taxa growing exclusively in mangrove habitat. Mangrove forests and forests soils can also store significant amounts of organic carbon.*
Status: Recent changes in land use primarily for aquaculture has led to transformation of mangroves (up to 75 per cent in the last 3 decades. Mangroves exist in coastal areas where development demand is high and are being highly threatened by land-use change (see 4.1.2; 4.4.1). An estimated 1,140 km2 of mangroves have been lost between 2000 and 2012 in South-East Asia, with an average rate of 0.7-3.0 per cent per year.
Threats include rapid urbanization (Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam), aquaculture (e.g., shrimp farming), paddy farming (Myanmar), expansion of oil palm (Malaysia and Indonesia, including new development in Papua) (See Figure above and chart below) In Asia, more than 50 per cent of mangroves have been lost to support aquaculture, with 40 per cent of mangroves in the Philippines lost to agriculture.
Indirect anthropogenic changes include those related to climate change—drought (e.g., Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia Nov-Dec 2016); rising sea levels pose a threat to mangroves in Bangladesh, New Zealand, Vietnam and China. Loss of mangrove forests and soils also removes carbon storage; Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar contributed 77% of global mangrove organic carbon storage loss between 2000-2015.*
*Source: Jonathan Sanderman et al 2018 A Global map of mangrove forest soil carbon at 30m resolution. Environ. Res. Lett. 13 055002