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Indonesia is home to the world’s most extensive mangrove ecosystems. These vital forests support marine life, protect coastlines, and store vast amounts of carbon. However, despite their importance, mangroves face severe threats from human activities, leading to extensive deforestation.

The Swiss Cetacean Society - SCS tackles this challenge through a mangrove conservation and restoration project in Bali, Indonesia, supported by a local and trustworthy NGO, Jakarta

Animal Aid Network - JAAN. This initiative relies on previous experience and it particularly focuses on involving local communities for long-term sustainability.

Benefits and outcomes of this project include biodiversity preservation, coastal resilience improvement, local community empowerment and climate change mitigation.

Investors are invited to join SCS in its mission to protect and restore mangrove ecosystems, offering a natural and cost-effective solution to a pressing environmental challenge.


You probably know Indonesia, for its pristine beaches and vibrant culture. But more than that, it is also home to nearly a quarter of the world’s mangroves and possesses a higher number of mangrove species than other countries (Giri et al., 2011).

Mangroves are unique plants that live
in tropical and subtropical coastal areas. They have adapted to tolerate a saline environment and they are distinguished by their intricate, almost maze-like root system that extends above the water line to obtain oxygen.

Home to a wide diversity of marine life, mangroves are true nurseries for fish, shellfish, and crustaceans as they provide shelter from predators. Their complex root system filters pollutants, thus improving water clarity and quality (Barbier et al., 2011).

On land, local communities vastly depend on the mangrove ecosystem as they are home to commercially valuable fish and crustaceans. Mangroves also serve as bird nesting sites.

Mangrove forests protect shorelines from erosion as their roots trap sediments and build up landmasses over time, preventing coastlines from disappearing into the sea.

Their root systems are efficient at dissipating wave energy, which serve as a natural buffer for storms, shielding inland areas from the devastating impact of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and even tsunamis (Alongi, 2008).

Moreover, mangroves contribute significantly to global carbon sequestration efforts by storing vast amounts of carbon in the soil beneath them (blue carbon). This role is crucial for climate change mitigation as it is one of the cheapest ways and most efficient of reducing emissions (Donato et al., 2011).

Shrimp farms in Bumi Dipasena, in Sumatra’s Lampung province. Image courtesy of Bumi Dipas

However, despite their immense value, mangrove forests are under increasing pressure.

Between 1980-2005, Indonesia has lost about 30% of their mangroves (FAO, 2007). The total mangrove loss in the period of 2009 – 2019 covers an estimated area of 182,091 ha (Arifanti et al., 2021).

Unsustainable aquaculture practices, particularly intensive shrimp farming, destroy mangroves to create ponds. Since the 1970s, the mangroves of Indonesia have been converted mainly for shrimp aquaculture, resulting in the removal of 800,000 ha of mangroves in 30 years (Ilman et al., 2016).

Coastal development often leads to

the destruction of mangrove habitats. Whether it’s for material exploration or the development of residential areas and tourist resorts, infrastructure projects often come at the expense of mangrove forests (Spalding et al., 2010).

Deforestation for agricultural purposes takes a heavy toll as mangroves are cleared to create land for crops. Moreover, pollution disrupts the delicate balance of the mangrove ecosystem, harming the plants and animals that call it home (Alongi, 2008).

Immediate action is needed to restore and expand the mangrove forests.

This is where SCS’s project for mangrove conservation and restoration in Bali, Indonesia, comes into play.


The Swiss Cetacean Society (SCS) will plant 8,000 mangrove trees in 2024,

to enhance the resilience of mangrove ecosystems for future generations

while promoting socio- economic benefits for local communities.


As of early March 2024,

about 2,000 mangrove trees have already been planted with the support of the SCS.

8,000 mangrove trees will be planted

by June 2024.

SCS strictly collaborates with local and trustworthy NGOs, namely the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN). SCS and JAAN have successfully collaborated in the past. SCS provides the funds and the local partners to take action.

On site, JAAN has proven experience in mangrove planting and conservation. The local villagers are greatly involved, as they plant and care for the trees. The involvement of local communities is an essential factor for the success of the project, to ensure long-term sustainability and longevity.

JAAN provides the seedlings, supervises the activities and shares knowledge and scientific expertise with the local community through the JAAN learning center.



The SCS is devoted to creating a better and more sustainable future for marine life and related ecosystems.

Founded in 1997, we have many success stories to tell, from the Sea Turtle Clinic in Bali to the Mediterranean Monk Seals projects, SCS is established as a trustworthy and active organization that brings financial and logistic support to marine life conservation projects.

Projet tortues Bali 2023-compressed.jpg

Femke den Haas, founder JAAN (center),

Max-Olivier Bourcoud et Florian Billarant of the SCS, 2023.


By taking part in this SCS project to restore mangroves in Bali, Indonesia, you are:

  • Actively contributing to preserving biodiversity, ensuring the survival of countless species:

  • Supporting local communities’ traditional livelihoods through the creation of opportunities for sustainable economic development, which translates into a reliable source of income for generations to come;

  • Enhancing coastal resilience, since mangroves mitigate coastal damage caused by extreme natural events. This means protecting valuable infrastructure of local livelihoods;

  • Making a difference towards combating climate change and its devastating impacts, as mangroves can efficiently sequester significant amounts of carbon dioxide.

    And the cherry on top of the cake: all these benefits are obtained through natural processes that breed sustainable, long-term, cost-effective solutions.

    Indeed, mangrove restoration uses minimal infrastructure, especially when compared
    to engineered structures that require significant upfront investment and ongoing maintenance costs.


En mars 2024,

environ 2’000 palétuviers ont déjà été plantés avec le soutien de la SCS.

Ce chiffre s’élèvera

à 8’000 arbres d’ici juin 2024


  • Chandra, G., Giri, C., Ochieng, E., Tieszen, L.L., Zhu, Z., Singh, A., Loveland, T.R., Masek, J.G.,& Duke, N.C. (2010). Status and distribution of mangrove forests of the world using Earth observation satellite data. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 20, 154-159.

  • Barbier, E.B., Hacker, S.D., Kennedy, C., Koch, E.W., Stier, A.C., & Silliman, B.R. (2011). The Value of Estuarine and Coastal Ecosystem Services. Ecological Monographs, 81(2), 169- 193.

  • Alongi, D.M. (2008). Mangrove Forests: Resilience, Protection from Tsunamis, and Responses to Global Climate Change. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 76(1), 1-13.

  • Donato, D.C., Kauffman, J.B., Murdiyarso, D., Kurnianto, S., Stidham, M., & Kanninen, M. (2011). Mangroves among the most carbon- rich forests in the tropics. Nature Geoscience, 4(5), 293-297.

  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). (2007). The world’s mangroves 1980-2005. FAO Forestry Paper, 153.

  • Arifanti, V.B., Novita, N., Subarno, & Tosiani, A. (2021). Mangrove deforestation and CO2 emissions in Indonesia. IOP Conference Series: Earth Environmental Science, 874.

  • Ilman, M., Dargusch, P., Dart, P., & Onrizal. (2016). A historical analysis of the drivers of loss and degradation of Indonesia’s mangroves. Land Use Policy, 54, 448-459.

  • Spalding, M., Kainuma, M., & Collins, L. (2010). World Atlas of Mangroves. Earthscan.

  • Yamamoto, Y. (2023). Living under ecosystem degradation: Evidence from the mangrove– fishery linkage in Indonesia. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 118.

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