The Mangrove Working Group brings together experts on remote sensing of mangroves to support the conservation and restoration of mangroves worldwide. By providing better information more quickly we aim to support decision making and policy. The group has its origins in a collaboration that formed around the Global Mangrove Watch (GMW), a project established in 2011 under the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s JAXA Kyoto & Carbon Initiative by Aberystwyth University (U.K.), solo Earth Observation (Japan) and the International Water management Institute (Sri Lanka). In close collaboration with Wetlands International, the Global Mangrove Watch has developed the concepts and approach to mapping and monitoring mangroves globally from combinations of optical and radar remote sensing data and applied these to generate global maps at 25 m spatial resolution for seven annual epochs between 1996 and 2016. In mid 2022, data from the period 2017-2020 will be added in a new public release.
The Global Mangrove Watch Platform is the official GMW website, and an online tool for analysing the dataset.
The GMW maps constitute the official mangrove datasets used by UNEP for reporting on Sustainable Development Goal 6.6.1 (change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time). The GMW dataset furthermore constitutes the mangrove layer used by the World Resources Institute (World Forest Watch; Resource Watch) and the UNEP World Conservation Management Centre (Ocean+ Habitats). The UNEP WCMC Ocean Data Viewer is the official site for public download of the GMW dataset in vector format, while raster data are available from JAXA’s Earth Observation Research Center.
The GEO Wetlands mangrove community is open to any experts wanting to join and contribute and actively tries to identify and make use of synergies between existing and future mangrove remote sensing projects going on worldwide. These synergies can range from exchanging ground-truth data to joint fundraising activities. The group is currently coordinated by Wetlands International and is currently in the phase of reaching out to the broader remote sensing and wetlands community for participation.