Message from Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the Occasion of the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem
26 July 2017
Coastal mangroves are among the most threatened ecosystems on earth. Current estimates indicate that up to 67% of mangroves have been lost to date, and nearly all unprotected mangroves could perish over the next 100 years.
The stakes are high, because mangrove ecosystems provide benefits and services that are essential for life. From advancing food security, sustaining fisheries and forest products and offering protection from storms, tsunamis and sea level rise to preventing shoreline erosion, regulating coastal water quality and providing habitats for endangered marine species – the list is long on the importance of mangrove ecosystems. This includes the unique role that they play in sequestering and storing significant amounts of coastal blue carbon from the atmosphere and ocean, crucial for mitigating climate change.
UNESCO is drawing on all of its strengths – through its Man and the Biosphere Programme, its International Hydrological Programme, its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems Programme – to protect mangrove ecosystems. This action reaches across the world, from the Bosque de Paz transboundary biosphere reserve in Ecuador and Peru, and the Delta de Saloum Biosphere Reserve in Senegal to the Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark in Malaysia. UNESCO is engaged deeply in supporting the conservation of mangroves, while advancing the sustainable development of local communities who interact closely with them and depend on their goods and services. UNESCO is also leading an active role in the Blue Carbon Initiative to mitigate climate change through the conservation, protection, restoration and sustainable use of coastal and marine ecosystems, focusing on mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses.
教科文组织利用其各方面的优势——通过人与生物圈计划、国际水文计划、政府间海洋学委员会以及“地方和土著知识系统”计划——开展红树林 生态系统保护工作。工作范围遍及世界各地，从秘鲁的 Noroeste AmotapesManglares 生物圈保护区、塞内加尔的萨鲁姆三角洲生物圈保护区到马来西亚兰卡威教科文组织世界地质公园。教科文组织积极支持红树林保护，同时推动与红树林朝夕相伴并依靠红树林提供产品与服务的当地社会的可持续发展。教科文组织还在“蓝碳倡议”中发挥积极作用，力图通过保护、养护、恢复和可持续使用沿海和海洋生态系统，尤其是红树林、潮汐沼泽地和海草，减缓气候变化。
We must do far more, and this calls for stronger science. To this end, UNESCO is working to broaden the capacities of States and reinforce their scientific knowledge, especially in countries that are highly dependent on these ecosystems in Africa and Small Islands Development States, always working with local communities, always drawing on indigenous knowledge.
This International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem is the moment for everyone to redouble their commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement. UNESCO’s message today is clear – we must reverse the trend of degradation and protect the mangroves that are so essential to the health of the planet.