Mangrove forests are among the most diverse tropical forests, and they provide critical ecosystem services indispensable for human well-being. These ecosystem services play a critical role in climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable development, and disaster risk reduction in vulnerable tropical coastal areas. Mangroves are particularly important for Asia, given the high population density in coastal areas, the rising threat of natural hazards, and climate-induced sea-level rise. Despite the growing importance of mangroves in international policy documents, mangrove cover continues to decline across the world, particularly in Asia, due to a variety of natural and anthropogenic drivers. Against this backdrop, this introductory chapter outlines the current state of mangroves in Asia, together with the influential drivers behind their degradation as well as efforts for restoration in recent years. Given the high uncertainty surrounding the future existence of mangroves in Asia and the delivery of the vital ecosystem services, the chapter highlights the need for assessing, mapping, and modeling mangrove ecosystem services and scenario-based quantification of such services across space and time. In particular, the chapter calls for assessing the future of mangroves funder plausible alternative development pathways and identifies their importance in evidence-led policy planning. This chapter further outlines the book’s subsequent chapters and expectations.
Book / book chapter