Biodiversity makes possible all forms of economic activity. Damage to components of biodiversity have economic consequences, the impacts of which fall most heavily on the poor. In few contexts is this as clear as in the case of mangrove ecosystems and their dependent human populations. Mangroves support livelihoods in providing habitat for food species, timber for dwellings, cooking and heat, and many other subsistence and commercial activities. Mangroves also provide protection of the coastline from erosion and storm surges. The roles of mangroves are now being realized, but only as the general trend for this valuable habitat is decline.
This report presents a country profile for 19 countries of West and Central Africa, considering the status, distribution, biodiversity, uses, threats and drivers of change for their mangroves. Although there is considerable work being undertaken to research this habitat at the national, regional and global level, there are still significant gaps in information, emphasizing a need for continued efforts to improve assessment in the region. This report concludes that there has been a decline in mangrove cover in the region over the last quarter of a century, and that there will be consequences as a result of this decline.
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