What are mangroves?

Mangroves are forests that grow in the salty mud along the coast. In many parts of Indonesia, there are long stretches of mangroves along the coast. Keeping mangroves healthy and intact is very important.

Why are mangroves important?

Mangroves are very important for the life of fish and animals. They are also very important for the life, health and safety of humans – right here in Indonesia and across the whole world.


For animals …

  • Mangroves provide food and shelter for fish, shrimp, and other sea creatures. They also provide a safe place to lay their eggs.
  • Many fish from coral reefs spend part of their life in mangroves, so mangroves support coral reefs.
  • Mangroves filter the runoff from the land to keep the water clear and clean for coral reefs.
  • Mangroves provide a home for birds and animals.

Mangroves protect …

  • our animals
  • our coral reefs
  • our fish
  • our sources of food
  • our sources of wood
  • our sources of income
  • our homes
  • our farms
  • our planet!

For the people nearby …

Wood from mangroves is useful for fuel, charcoal and timber.

  • Mangroves are a good place to catch fish to eat.
  • Mangroves protect the coast against big storms, so the waves don’t damage land and homes.
  • Mangroves stop the soil from being washed away.
  • Mangroves can soak up some of the extra sea water when the sea levels rise, so they keep the land safe and salt-free.

For the whole planet …

The soil below mangrove forests is very deep. It has up to four times as much carbon as other forests. So cutting down mangroves can make climate change worse. But conserving and planting more mangroves will help slow down climate change.


Why are mangroves under threat?

Mangrove forests are being destroyed more quickly than other types of forest. Many people are cutting down mangroves to build towns or tourism centers, or to make way for rice fields or shrimp farms.

Although these people might make money now, they are just creating more problems for the future.