Similar to coral reefs and seagrass, mangroves are extremely biodiverse ecosystems that are critical as nursery grounds for many marine species, including those essential to global fisheries. They purify water, stabilize coastlines, provide protection from storms, and are important sources of food and resources for local communities. Studies indicated that mangroves had been disappearing at a rate of around 1 per cent to 3 per cent per year, between 1980 and 2005 due to human activity, such as urban development, aquaculture and overexploitation of natural resources. Considerable effort, in conservation, has been made more recently, with other studies using remote sensing that indicates that the loss between 2000 and 2012 has been closer to 0.2 to 0.7 per cent.
The Integrated Assessment and Modelling of Blue Carbon Ecosystems for Conservation and Adaptive Management (IAMBlueCECAM) programme was established to produce an accurate and detailed inventory of mangrove forests and seagrass habitats using remote sensing and ground-based measurements to provide local officials with information on the mangrove extent and species, enabling more accurate information for conservation and natural resource management. Detailed maps of mangrove forests in the pilot sites were developed, characterizing the mangrove forests in terms of health, and other parameters needed for carbon stock modelling.
Additional details and more practices like this can be found in Geospatial Practices for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific 2020: A Compendium