NEW YORK, 26th July, 2022 (WAM) — Time is running out to protect the world’s mangroves, which are not only home to many species but also an important hedge against climate impacts, the head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) said on Tuesday.
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, called for greater global awareness about these critical coastal areas in her message to mark the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem. It is estimated that more than three quarters of mangroves in the world are now threatened, “and with them all the fine balances that depend on them”, she said.
Azoulay announced that next month, UNESCO will launch a new mangrove restoration project in seven Latin American countries: Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.
The project will bring economic opportunities to local communities. It will also facilitate the exchange and sharing of knowledge between local and indigenous populations and the scientific community.
“Beyond protection and restoration, we need global awareness. This requires educating and alerting the public, not only in schools, but wherever possible,” she said.
This spirit is reflected in an exhibition UNESCO designed for the National Science Museum of Thailand, now touring the world, “because it is also by showing and explaining the mysteries of mangroves that we will be able to preserve them sustainably,” she added.