In the front line: shoreline protection and other ecosystem services from mangroves and coral reefs

United Nations Environment Programme (2006)

The tragic and devastating consequences of the Asian tsunami, December 2004 , and the hurricanes and cyclones of 2005 were a wakeup call for the global community, dramatically drawing attention to the dangers of undermining the services that coastal ecosystems provide to humankind. This report has gathered lessons that have been learned since these events that will be relevant to future management of the coasts in the context of severe weather events and other potential consequences of global warming. More than ever it is essential to consider the full value of ecosystem services that is the benefits that people derive from ecosystems when making decisions about coastal development. The publication aims to help decision and policy makers around the world understand the importance of coastal habitats to humans, focusing on the role of coral reefs and mangroves. As well as coastal protection, it also addresses the huge range of other benefits provided by these ecosystems and the role that they can play in coastal development and in restoring livelihoods for those suffering from the effects of extreme events.

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