For decades coastal mangrove forests around the tropics have been sacrificed to development – to make way for shrimp farms, ports, urbanisation and luxury resorts – with little or no thought for the value of the mangroves, the wildlife they harbour, or the many essential services they perform.

These services include protecting vulnerable coastlines from storms and rising sea levels, acting as nurseries for marine fish, and storing more carbon in their biomass and soils than almost any other kind of tropical forest.

But now that’s all changed, at least in Sri Lanka. On 26 July, World ...


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