International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem – July 26

International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem is observed on July 26 each year.
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International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem is observed on July 26 each year. Image Unsplash.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem

The International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem is celebrated each year on July 26th to raise awareness about the importance of mangrove ecosystems and promote solutions for their conservation and sustainable use. The day was established by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2015, recognizing that mangroves are unique and vulnerable ecosystems that provide critical ecological, economic, and cultural benefits. The date also commemorates the Greenpeace activist Hayhow Daniel Nonoto, who died of a heart attack that day while protesting for the re-establishment of mangrove wetlands in Muisne, Ecuador.

Mangroves are small trees or shrubs that grow in coastal areas where saltwater and freshwater mix. They play a crucial role in stabilizing shorelines, filtering pollutants, providing habitat for wildlife, and supporting local economies through fishing, forestry, and tourism.

The origin of mangroves dates back millions of years when early species spread westward across the ocean currents to India, East Africa, and eastward to the Americas. However, mangroves are threatened by various factors, including deforestation, pollution, and climate change.

Through the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, UNESCO aims to raise awareness about the value of mangroves and the threats they face while promoting solutions for their conservation and sustainable management. This includes supporting research, monitoring, and restoration efforts, as well as engaging local communities in conservation initiatives and promoting sustainable livelihoods that do not rely on destructive practices.

On this day, events and activities are held worldwide to celebrate mangroves and promote their conservation. These include educational programs, community clean-ups, tree-planting campaigns, and other initiatives that raise awareness about the importance of these vital ecosystems.

See also: First-Of-Its-Kind Freshwater Mangroves Discovered in Brazil’s Amazon Delta.

By highlighting the value of mangroves and promoting their conservation, the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem plays an important role in protecting these unique and vital ecosystems for future generations.

How to celebrate:

  • If you live close to a coastal area, plant a mangrove tree.
  • Raise awareness about mangrove conservation in your community.
  • Participate in a mangrove cleanup.
  • Support mangrove nonprofits and research.
  • Protect existing mangroves.

Fun Facts:

  •  Mangrove combines the Portuguese “Mangue” and the English “grove.”
  •  Mangroves protect the natural coastlines against storm surges, tsunamis, rising sea levels and erosion.
  •  Mangrove soils can store ten times more carbon compared to land-based forests.
  • They provide a valuable nursery habitat for fish and crustaceans; a food source for monkeys, deer, birds, and even kangaroos; and nectar for honeybees.
  • The first fossil of the Mangrove tree dates back to 75 million years ago.
  • It is the only tree to grow in saltwater.

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