Strategies for Management


Can damaged coastal ecosystems be restored?, and environmental stresses on mangroves be minimized? If yes, what are the scientifically sound and ecologically sustainable ways to achieve this? These are just few of many questions related to improving the health of mangroves and coastal zones in the Indian Ocean countries today. Coastal ecosystems are areas of high ecological complexity and hence their restoration is a highly challenging prospect. Although possible, it is a long road to recovery and for severely damaged systems, natural restoration is often difficult. The post-Tsunami years saw a rapid upsurge in efforts to restore coastal areas and mangroves in the Indian Ocean countries.  Despite of these efforts there remains a pressing need for smart ways to restore and manage coastal ecosystems in the region.

Mangroves for the Future (MFF) believes that a holistic approach is necessary to maintain healthy coastal ecosystems. It recognizes the need to better equip the institutions that work on the ground and enabling local communities to become direct project beneficiaries. By teaching people skills and techniques on replanting, restoration, removal of alien species and sharing of lessons learned, MFF seeks to develop synergy between people and coastal ecosystems.

Around the Indian Ocean region, MFF works by encouraging local action based on scientific approaches and techniques, MFF seeks to conserve these vital coastal ecosystems for posterity. Through its Small Grants Facility (SGF), MFF supports programs that engage coastal communities in income generating activities that ensure better livelihoods and maintain ecosystem health. In Sri Lanka for example MFF via ‘Replanting mangroves in the Batticaloa lagoon’ project  helped establish 180 mangrove enclosures and planted 17,000 mangrove seedlings. In Panama, Sri Lanka, MFF helped the reconstruction of the Pottuvil mangrove nursery by engaging local fishing community. Similarly in Thailand’s Mae Nang Khao district, through Participatory rehabilitation of aquatic habitat project, MFF helped the reforestation of 32 hectares of degraded forest  with 9,000 mangrove plants and repopulated the protected area by releasing 11,000 juvenile fish.

For details about Actions, Outputs and Results, click [ + ]

Programmes of WorkActions/OutputsContribution to results
2. Designing ecologically and socio-economically sound coastal ecosystem rehabilitation
  1. Review of restoration work already underway (both before and during the post-tsunami reconstruction process), identification of national, regional and global expertise, and dissemination (with the possible establishment of a global database on rehabilitation projects) of best practices and lessons learned. 

  2. Within each country identification of areas that require, and are suitable for, rehabilitation, and those that are suitable for natural regeneration. 

  3. Capacity building for rehabilitation through the development and/or dissemination of best practice guidelines and training courses in local languages.

  4. Monitoring to assess the impacts of restoration, using indicators for measuring impacts and performance at the species and ecosystem levels, as well as on the socio-economic status of surrounding human populations.

  5. Application of management and eradication measures for invasive alien species in coastal ecosystems, and measures to halt their use for shoreline protection.
  • More sustainable, equitable and effective protection, and where necessary rehabilitation, of coastal ecosystems
  • Enhanced action in coastal conservation through partnership with the private sector
  • More environmentally sustainable coastal livelihoods


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