Mangroves for the Future (MFF)

Mangroves plantation along Sindh Coast

Project Title: Mangroves for the Future (MFF)


Member countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Viet Nam        

Outreach countries: Malaysia                                                          

Dialogue countries: Kenya and Tanzania

Duration: Established in 2006, MFF is currently in its third phase (2015 - 2018). 

Project Background: The devastation caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 laid bare the vital link between coastal ecosystems and human livelihoods. It was United States President Bill Clinton’s vision that rebuilding in tsunami-hit areas should improve natural infrastructure and strengthen resilience against future natural disasters. In response to this vision, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) developed Mangroves for the Future in 2006. Since then, MFF has grown to include eight institutional partners, plus a growing number of countries. At the launch of the Tsunami Legacy report* at the United Nations in New York in April 2009, Bill Clinton acclaimed MFF as one of the most positive and forward-looking developments of the post-tsunami period.

Mangroves for the Future (MFF) is a unique partner-led initiative to promote investment in coastal ecosystem conservation for sustainable development. Co-chaired by IUCN and UNDP, MFF provides a platform for collaboration among the many different agencies, sectors and countries which are addressing challenges to coastal ecosystem and livelihood issues. The goal is to promote an integrated ocean-wide approach to coastal management and to building the resilience of ecosystem-dependent coastal communities. 

Mangroves are the flagship of the initiative, but MFF is inclusive of all types of coastal ecosystem, such as coral reefs, estuaries, lagoons, sandy beaches, seagrass and wetlands.

Objectives: To achieve its goal of conservation, restoration and sustainable management of coastal ecosystems as key natural infrastructure which support human well-being and security, MFF implements actions guided by three main objectives.

  1. Improve, share and apply knowledge to support the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of coastal ecosystems.
  2. Strengthen Integrated Coastal Management institutions and empower civil society (including local communities) to engage in decision-making and management that conserves, restores and sustainably uses coastal ecosystems.
  3. Enhance coastal governance at all levels (regional, national, provincial, district and community) to encourage integrated management programmes and investments that are ecologically and socio-economically sound, and promote human well-being and security.

Expected Outputs:

Output Objective 1: Knowledge generated, disseminated and applied for sustainable management of coastal ecosystems

  • Strengthening information base
  • Enhancing access to and sharing of knowledge at national and regional levels
  • Promoting effective use of knowledge including best practices

Output Objective 2: Key stakeholders empowered to engage in decision-making in support of sustainable management of coastal ecosystems

  • Building awareness and capacity of civil society and private sector
  • Supporting multi-stakeholder fora
  • Promoting sustainable livelihoods

Output Objective 3: Coastal governance enhanced to promote integrated and inclusive management

  • Strengthening capacity of national and regional governance institutions for integrated coastal management
  • Engaging with key business sectors to promote sustainable business practices
  • Promoting co-management and similar participatory natural resource management mechanisms

Gender and climate change were introduced as cross cutting issues in 2006; property rights and resource tenure, as well as conflict sensitivity, are added as cross cutting issues beginning 2014.

Donor and Partner:  The implementation of MFF’s action plan and overall progress towards its goal are monitored by the Regional Steering Committee (RSC). This multi-stakeholder body is co-chaired by IUCN and UNDP, with representatives from MFF’s member country governments: India, Indonesia, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam; and MFF’s institutional partners: CARE International, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Wetlands International.

For more information, please visit the MFF website.



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