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The Role of Mangroves in Coastal Protection 2020


Mangroves are an example of wetland ecosystems which fringe the coastline of countries in tropical/sub-tropical regions. They provide a variety of ecosystem services to local populations, including the provision of food and timber products. They also provide a key coastal defence service which has been shown to reduce the impact from coastal hazards. As seen in the British Virgin Islands, areas of mangrove are rapidly becoming fragmented and destroyed, due to the pressures of new development along the coastline and the impact of increasingly frequent hurricanes. Given the damage caused by Hurricane Irma in 2017 and the vulnerability of small islands states to the impacts of climate change, it has never been more important to conserve and in some cases, restore, the natural protection that is offered by mangrove ecosystems in the BVI.

This information document aims to summarise the best-available scientific evidence regarding the role of mangrove ecosystems in coastal protection from wind, swell waves, storm surges and tsunamis, to provide an overview of the key factors which effect the level of protection that is offered and to demonstrate the benefits of protecting mangroves in the British Virgin Islands.

This study was undertaken as part of a programme of Natural Capital Assessment (NCA) in the UK's Caribbean Overseas Territories implemented by JNCC, and was conducted by Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions UK Limited. Funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the UK Government through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), the work sits under the Environmental Resilience programme which includes objectives to integrate natural capital considerations into economic and social development planning.

Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2020·01·01

Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions UK Limited. 2020. The Role of Mangroves in Coastal Protection. Natural Capital in the UK’s Overseas Territories Report Series – Supplementary Report (Caribbean Region). Contracted report to JNCC.

Contracted report to JNCC as part of the 'Natural Capital in the Caribbean and South Atlantic Overseas Territories: Valuation, Vulnerability and Monitoring Change' project.

Responsible organisation
Communications, JNCC distributor

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Open, cite source of data

Metadata date 2020·09·09

Metadata point of contact
Communications, JNCC

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