THE IMPORTANCE OF MANGROVE
It’s POLLUTION, THREATS .
Master of Public Administration
School of Postgraduate Studies
Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration
What are mangroves?
Mangroves significantly facilitates in moving organic
matter and energy from the land to marine ecosystems.
Mangroves are those plants that thrive along coastlines,
lagoons, and estuaries in the tropics and sub-tropical
These salt-tolerant plants make significant socio-economic and
environmental contributions as they protect the coastal and
inland areas from severe conditions, like erosion, wind,
waves, water currents, tsunamis, and storm surge.
Why are mangroves important?
Mangroves are often called coastal bio
shield because of its crucial role in the
They provide a safe refuge for
Protects mankind from storm surge,
Secures economic livelihood of coastal
Mangroves Map In
The largest tracts of
mangrove habitats in
Sri Lanka are found
Kala Oya basin and
Roles of mangroves to the ecosystem
Mangroves are among the most productive
ecosystems in the world.
In Sri Lanka mangroves occur along the sheltered
inertial coastlines associated with estuaries and
Mangroves, or mangrove forests, are highly
valuable ecosystem that provide a thousand
and one benefits to humans, other living
organisms, and the environment.
Mangroves provide many ecosystem
products and services
Nursery and hunting grounds for animals
Protect the lagoons
The estuaries from erosion
Reduce pollution of near-shore coastal waters by
Provide recreational grounds.
Field laboratory for researchers
Opportunities for bird watching
They play an invaluable role as a nature’s shield
against cyclones, ecological disasters and as protector
of shore lines.
They are a breeding and nursery grounds for a variety
of marine animals.
Harbor a variety of life forms like, fish, amphibians,
reptiles, birds and even mammals.
Good source of timber, fuel and fodder.
Main source of income generation for shore line
communities like fisher folk.
Save the marine diversity, which is fast diminishing.
Purify the water by absorbing impurities and harmful
heavy metals and help us to breathe a clean air by
absorbing pollutants in the area.
Several species of fish, prawns, crabs and mollusca are
Main Advantages of the
Maintain coastal water quality
Coral reef protection and nutrients source.
Habitat of aquatic animals and fisheries, and wildlife
Help against climate change and slow down global
Food source and livelihood for coastal communities.
Dissipate waves by absorbing wave energy and
reducing water velocity.
Trap sediments carried by incoming currents and high
Control water flow
Serve as important catalyst in reclaiming land from
the sea; thus, contributing to land building
Stabilizes the substrate and the coastline
Prevent uncontrolled shifting of the coastline sand
The role of mangroves
Better connecting mangrove ecosystems with the role they
play in the global carbon cycle and climate system could
change the economic calculus for mangroves.
The role of mangroves in climate change adaptation and
disaster risk reduction should be integrated in local and
national adaptation plans.
The key role of mangroves as carbon stores and sinks needs
to be highlighted in national and international strategies
that address climate change.
Enhance existing carbon stocks and reverse CO2 emissions
by increasing protection and restoration of mangrove
ecosystems, and build mangroves into emissions trading and
climate change mitigation planning.
Mangrove Forests: Threats
Mangrove forests are one of the world’s most threatened
More than 35% of the world’s mangroves are already gone.
Over the past thirty years or so, Sri Lanka’s coastal zone
has witnessed a rapid conversion of it’s mangroves for
various uses such as aquaculture and housing
development. This combined with pollution has reduced
the benefits of the mangrove habitat for fisheries and
sustainable fuel wood production.
Fertilizers, pesticides, and other toxic man-
made chemicals carried by river systems
from sources upstream can kill animals
living in mangrove forests, while oil
pollution can smother mangrove roots and
suffocate the trees.
IMPACTS ON MANGROVES
Mangroves are victims of dredging, filling, and
diking, water pollution from oil leakages of ships
and urban development within the Sri Lanka.
Causing tremendous damage to mangroves,
herbicides, oil spills, and other types of water
pollution may result in the death of these plants.
Oil spills cause damage to mangroves by coating roots,
limiting the transport of oxygen to underground roots.
Mangrove communities including invertebrates, fishes,
and plants are also highly susceptible to damage from
Urban development of areas in and near
mangroves results in the destruction of this
habitat as well as other associated wetland
Responsible for total loss of mangrove habitat in some
locations, urban development includes the construction of
buildings and canal systems as well as the consumption of
water by a growing human population. Human activity
upland from mangroves may also impact water quality and
runoff. These land and coastal activities result in increased
erosion as well as the reduction of nursery areas supporting
commercial and game fisheries
Mangrove forests have often been seen as
unproductive and smelly, and so cleared to make
room for agricultural land, human settlements
and infrastructure ,and industrial areas.
The global overfishing crisis facing the world’s oceans has
effects far beyond the directly overfished population. The
ecological balance of food chains and mangrove fish
communities can also be altered.
Dams and irrigation reduce the amount of water reaching
mangrove forests, changing the salinity level of water in the
If salinity becomes too high, the mangroves cannot survive.
Freshwater diversions can also lead to mangroves drying
out. In addition, increased erosion due to land deforestation
can massively increase the amount of sediment in rivers
DESTRUCTION OF CORAL REEFS
Coral reefs provide the first barrier against
currents and strong waves.
When they are destroyed, the stronger-than-
normal waves and currents reaching the coast can
undermine the fine sediment in which the
This can prevent seedlings from taking root and
wash away nutrients essential for mangrove
Mangroves are specially adapted to high salinities and
temperatures, tidal changes, and anaerobic sediments.
These same adaptations make them somewhat
vulnerable to natural stresses. The aerial roots are
especially sensitive to long periods of flooding.
If these specialized roots are covered for extended
periods of time by sediments or water, the mangroves
may die due to lack of oxygen to the plant tissues.
Mangrove forests require stable sea levels for
long-term survival. They are therefore
extremely sensitive to current rising sea levels
caused by global warming and climate change.
Over 80% of Mangroves pollution
comes from land-based activities
Worse, the remaining mangrove forests continue
to be threatened by land use conversion,
pollution, and harvesting for timber, fuel and
Mangroves are among the most powerful natural
defenses against global warming. But their decline,
due to the spread of polluting agents and
Solid garbage also makes its way to the ocean. Plastic bags,
balloons, glass bottles, shoes, packaging material – if not
disposed of correctly, almost everything we throw away can
reach the sea and finally it stuck the mangroves.
Central Environment Authority
Relevant Urban Councils.
Disaster Management Authorities.
Coastal Conservation Department.
What can we do to help
protect our mangroves?
Support the enforcement & implementation of fishery laws & laws
protecting coastal habits.
Report any violation of these laws to the police or the local
government or central environment authority.
Stop the cutting of mangroves & conversion of mangrove areas in to
Rehabilitate/Reforest denuded areas.
Recover abandoned fishponds & Re-establish these as mangrove areas.
Establish mangrove nurseries to provide a reliable source of seedlings
for mangrove replanting & rehabilitation.
Establish/ Support marine protected areas or marine
Advocate for and support the establishment of a coastal
resource and fisheries management programe in local
Advocate for and support coastal zoning initiatives that
will allow for rationalization of fishing gear and other
Don’t pollute. Stop others from polluting our coastal
areas and river banks.
Educate school childrens, youths, and elder societies,
learn more about our marine ecosystems- Coral reefs,
mangroves, sea grasses.ect,.
Controlling the tannin work related to coconut products