Subjected to the incessant swaying of the tides in inter-tropical zones, mangroves are a special ecosystem in which the mangroves, majestic trees with stilt roots, live and develop. Mangroves are kings of adaptation, thriving in a hostile environment: high salinity in warm waters; submerged roots; low soil oxygenation due to silt; unstable soil and sometimes significant sedimentation.

Benefits of mangroves

Mangroves offer multiple benefits for the climate, local populations and biodiversity.

  • Mangroves are extremely productive in terms of biomass and store large quantities of carbon in the soil, enabling them to sequester 3 to 10 times more carbon than a terrestrial forest ecosystem.
  • Barriers to natural disasters (tsunamis, floods, cyclones, etc.) and protection of coastal villages
  • Shelter and nourishment for marine life, a real asset for local fishermen
  • Only around sixty plant species can grow in mangroves, but they are the preferred habitat of many animal species that come here to take refuge or nest
  • A natural filter, they can absorb nutrients and pollutants

Focus on mangroves

Mangrove seeds are called propagules. They germinate directly on the tree before being planted in the soil. A marvel of nature, if a propagule does not take root when it falls from its parent tree, it can change its density to improve its buoyancy and be carried to a favourable rooting place.

Key figures on mangroves

14,7 millions

A surface area of 14.7 million hectares, equivalent to the size of Greece (Global Mangrove Watch).


It naturally occupies three-quarters of the coasts and deltas of tropical regions.


of mangroves lost between 1980 and 2005 (Global Mangrove Watch), and a remarkable drop in their destruction over the last decade (0.04% per year)


of their disappearance is directly linked to human activity (pollution, firewood, construction equipment, aquaculture, etc.), while 38% is due to erosion, flooding or devastating storms. (IUCN)

The nose monkey

Recognisable by its prominent nose, it is an excellent swimmer and climber.

The periophthalm

Is a fish that can live and move for a long time out of water thanks to its adapted fins.

The fiddler crab

Hides its claw under its abdomen

The red mangrove

Has impermeable roots that prevent salt from penetrating

Useful tools for mangroves

Planète Urgence is a member of the Global Mangrove Alliance and the IUCN, rich networks for sharing learning and accelerating restoration.

Podcast Indonesia: Listen to Réonaldus, our national delegate, talk to us about Indonesian mangroves in the “Combat” podcast from Baleine sous Gravillon.

Discover the podcast

Planète Urgence’s action in the field


1,000 hectares of mangrove restoration to reduce flooding in Douala

CAMERR Project


A bulwark of mangroves against tsunamis

MERCI Project


Mangroves at the heart of nasal monkey conservation



Mangroves, a source of income for fishermen