An open-access online platform that provides remote sensing data and tools for the global monitoring of mangroves. Through near real-time information on changes to mangroves across the world, it has been successful in enabling coastal and park managers, conservationists, policymakers, and practitioners to respond to illegal logging, pinpoint the causes of local mangrove loss, and track restoration progress.
A 2023 report aimed to understand how mangrove loss threatens biodiversity, reduces carbon storage, and impacts small fisheries. They found over 8,000 km of former mangrove area lost since 1996 is considered restorable and within reach for national governments to act.
Our best carbon fighter.
Capture CO2 2-4x times faster than terrestrial forests. Highly restorable areas could store 1.3Gt CO2 = 3 years of emissions from Australia.
Home to 341 internationally threatened species, including seahorses and tigers.
Provide livelihoods for 120m people and relied on by 80% of small-scale fisheries.
Global Mangrove Watch was initially established through the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Kyoto & Carbon Initiative by Aberystwyth University, solo Earth Observation and the International Water Management Institute in 2011 to provide open access geospatial information about mangrove extent and changes. Its baseline maps were released at Ramsar COP 13 in 2018 and have since been used by UNEP for SDG reporting on change in water-related ecosystems.
From 2019 onwards The Nature Conservancy, Wetlands International, Aberystwyth University, and soloEO collaborated to develop Global Mangrove Watch as a platform. As part of this effort they also began partnerships with Vizzuality, NASA, JAXA, IWMI, UNEP-WCMC and others to position GMW as the key information base for the Global Mangrove Alliance, a collaboration of organizations working to increase the world’s mangrove cover 20% by 2030.
Vizzuality advises on indicator definition, ensuring meaningful metrics, data curation and indicator calculations to transform information into actionable insights. We work on platform design and development to improve near real-time alerts to empower timely responses to threats and enhance GMW’s analytical capabilities to distil complex data for impact decision-making. To balance the need for fast platform analysis and data integrity we generated pre-calculated zonal statistics for 102 countries and 160 of the largest coastal protected areas using Google Earth Engine. Now users can pull these statistics quickly into data widgets.
Through action-oriented features such as a comprehensive assessment of mangroves’ carbon market potential adjustable to any carbon credit price, data on fishing pressure, and coastal protection potential, we are enabling conservation managers and activists to advocate for the socio-economic and environmental benefits of mangrove preservation and restoration in countries around the world.