World Mangrove Day, or the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, is celebrated on 26th July every year. The General Conference of the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted this day in 2015 to highlight the importance of mangrove ecosystems. The first official celebration of this World Mangrove Day was held on the 26th July 2016.
Mangroves have ecosystems of their own that support both flora and fauna. It is estimated that a significant number of mangroves worldwide are now in danger. Therefore, World Mangrove Day is important to raise awareness about preserving these ecosystems.
World Mangrove Day 2023
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) established World Mangrove Day in 2015. This day is aimed at raising awareness about mangroves and their importance as self-sustaining ecosystems. This day is observed by multiple countries worldwide each year on 26th July.
According to a report, mangroves are disappearing at an alarming rate, approximately four to five times faster than forests, and other areas. Therefore, observing a day like World Mangrove Day is important. Here, we have shared more details about this day:
World Mangrove Day or International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem
26th July (every year)
To raise awareness about the significance of mangroves.
World Mangrove Day 2022 Theme
The general World Mangrove Day theme revolves around encouraging people to demand the protection and restoration of global mangroves. Besides that, no other specific theme is chosen for this annual occasion. World Mangrove Day is observed by many countries around the world, all of which conduct special programs, seminars, etc. to discuss the condition of the global mangroves.
What are Mangroves?
Mangroves are a type of trees that grow in saltwater. A mangrove forest is a spectacular and prolific ecosystem. You will usually find them along sheltered coastlines in the tropical and sub-tropical regions. Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, and Sunderbans are some places that have mangrove forests.
Sunderbans, in particular, is an excellent example of mangrove forests. Four protected areas in the Sundarbans are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Sundarbans South (Bangladesh), Sundarbans East (Bangladesh), Sundarbans West (Bangladesh), and Sundarbans National Park (India).
World Mangrove Day - Features of Mangroves
- Mangroves are a veritable storehouse of the good and the glorious in our ecosystem. They contribute significantly to the earth's well-being, provide food security to the inhabitants in the area and contribute incredibly to protecting the coastal communities.
- Mangrove forests improve the bio-diversity of the place, enriching it and providing it with a nursery habitat.
- They also protect our coastlines from tsunamis, storm surges, and rising sea levels. Shipping lanes are also protected against erosion and siltation.
- In addition, mangroves encourage the existence and breeding of countless endangered reptiles, amphibians, and even mammals, along with a whole range of fish, shellfish, various types of birds, and even insects.
- Most importantly, mangroves forests are an essential tool as we fight climate change because of their ability to take up carbon out of the atmosphere more efficiently than their counterparts on land.
History of World Mangrove Day
World Mangrove Day was adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization in 2015. The first International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem was celebrated in 2016. This day is celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of mangrove forests as self-sustaining ecosystems.
There is more to the history of World Mangrove Day. On 26th July 1998, Greenpeace activist Hayhow Daniel Nanoto lost his life while staging a protest to re-establish the mangrove wetlands of Muisne, Ecuador. To commemorate his efforts and bravery, World Mangrove Day is observed on his death anniversary.
World Mangrove Day Significance
Mangroves are unique and tremendously essential trees are also at great risk of being eradicated due to threats like shrimp farming, coastal development, tourism, rampant exploitation, and the consequent pollution. It is feared that around 67% of mangroves have already been lost, and we lose another 1% each year. Even when we compare it to the alarming loss of global forest losses, the disappearance of mangroves is of particular significance because it is happening much faster.
- World Mangrove Day is significant because it brings them to focus globally and encourages people to celebrate as well as come forward with solutions to preserve them.
- It is becoming an urgent imperative to prevent the destruction of mangrove ecosystems, and it is equally necessary to increase mangrove coverage quickly.
- It is not just about mangroves being destroyed; it is also about their degradation - through siltation, changes in water salinity, and pollution. Preserving biodiversity is an absolute necessity.
- Sadly, due to various threats, we don't have too many of these forests worldwide. They represent less than 1% of tropical forests. When it comes to total forest estates, mangroves are only about 0.4%, and the figures keep decreasing alarmingly.
- Therefore, world Mangrove Day is important to recognize, celebrate, and come up with solutions to preserve and protect these valuable gifts of Nature.
FAQs On World Mangrove Day
Q1. When is World Mangrove Day celebrated?
World Mangrove Day is celebrated on 26th July every year. It is officially referred to as the International Day of the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem. This day was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization in 2015.
Q2. Why is World Mangrove Day celebrated on 26th July?
Greenpeace activist Hayhow Daniel Nanoto lost his life on 26th July 1998 while staging a massive protest to re-establish the mangrove wetlands of Muisne, Ecuador. Therefore, World Mangrove Day is celebrated to commemorate him.
Q3. Where are Mangrove forests located?
Mangrove forests or mangrove swamps are found in tropical and subtropical tidal areas. Indonesia has the most number of mangroves. Malaysia, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and Sunderbans in India are some places that have mangrove forests.
Q4. What is the Purpose of World Mangrove Day?
The reason behind adopting World Mangrove Day was to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems. They are a unique but vulnerable ecosystem. It is a day to celebrate them and come forward with ideas for their sustainable management, conservation, and uses.