Mangroves are of great environmental and economic importance. They contribute a rich genetic diversity, provide homes for a wide variety of species and act as a buffer zone between terrestrial and marine ecosystems. They also provide valuable goods and services for many local communities. However, mangrove ecosystems have also been severely damaged by human activities including urban development; agriculture; development of shrimp aquaculture; and influxes of pollutants. Drastic loss of mangrove forests has been observed in tropical and sub-tropical countries all over the world. As close ecological connections exist between the three major tropical coastal ecosystems - coral reef, seagrass and mangrove ecosystems - the conservation of mangroves is essential for the survival of these coral reefs and seagrass.
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