Marine resources

Mangrove forests support coastal ecosystems, store ‘blue carbon’, and prevent sea-level rise.
  • Mangrove forests serve as the first line of defense against extreme water levels. They protect against storm surges, soil erosion, and tsunamis. In Cameroon, the areas where mangroves have been cleared have experienced intensified flooding of coastal settlements. This has had social and environmental impacts, including biodiversity loss, a decline in fishery resources, and a loss of forest products used for construction and fuelwood.
  • ‘Blue Carbon’ is carbon stored in coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves, sea grass, and salt marsh grasses. Unlike carbon stored in forests, blue carbon can remain trapped below ground for a very long time, resulting in extremely high carbon stocks. It is estimated that mangroves are one of the most carbon-dense types of tropical forests, possibly the second highest after peat swamps.
  • Mangroves contribute to local livelihoods, as well as marine biodiversity. Building materials, food, medicines, fuel and other non-timber forest products are obtained from mangrove forests to support incomes and households. Mangroves also provide habitat for many marine species, including crabs, oysters, clams, crocodiles, snakes, seabirds and bats.
The CIFOR Strategy 2016-2025 aligns CIFOR’s research with the Sustainable Development Goals, to put CIFOR’s work into the context of the new climate and development agenda.