Blog Post

First Unit of a 10-Unit Online Training Course

on Mangrove Ecosystems Launched

Along the coastlines of 123 tropical countries, mangroves are vital for healthy ecosystems and human communities. Over 100 million people around the world live within 10 kilometres of mangrove forests, benefiting from a variety of goods and services such as fisheries and forest products, clean water, and protection against erosion and extreme weather events. Despite the significance of these habitats, in the last few decades they have been extensively degraded and cleared, often in the interest of economic growth. Fortunately, such attitudes are changing and there is now increasing global appreciation for the remarkable mangrove forest.

Key to improving the future fate of mangrove forests is the availability of up-to-date and comprehensive knowledge of their functioning, status, and threats together with adequate capacity to manage and conserve these unique ecosystems. For this reason, UNU-INWEH and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are excited to announce the launch of the first Unit of a unique 10-Unit open access, self-paced online course all about mangrove ecosystems and their management. The result of a unique collaboration between UNU-INWEH and TNC that commenced in 2013, the 10-Unit online course has been designed to build expertise on a wide range of topics, including mangrove biology, ecology, assessment, management, and restoration and incorporates the latest science, case studies, and management strategies.

Unit 1: Introduction to Mangroves

Unit 1: Introduction to Mangroves introduces students to mangroves and provides a brief description of the basic characteristics of mangrove forests, an overview of how mangroves evolved, their geographical distribution, importance to humans and coastal ecology, and global status and threats. This unit enables students to get a first peek into the world of mangroves.

We hope that this unique course will enhance knowledge and understanding of these unique and threatened ecosystems, create a generation of students with structured training on the topic, and lead to more interest and research undertaken in this area.

How to Enroll in the Course

The Course can be accessed at Enrollment in the course is easy and requires a simple registration with the CT platform. The course is currently available in English, but we hope to eventually translate it into French and Spanish.To preview the introduction course, click here.


UNU-INWEH acts as the UN Think tank on Water. Through its Water & Ecosystems Programme, UNU-INWEH addresses challenges in sustainable management of terrestrial, riverine and coastal ecosystems. UNU-INWEH’s cross-cutting training and distance-education seeks to provide a broad understanding of integrated water management practices. It has been supporting research and capacity building initiatives concerning mangrove ecosystems since 2004, including an annual training course aimed at the south-east Asian region held in India and a bi-annual course for the Western Indian Ocean region held in Kenya.

The Nature Conservancy runs the platform which is an open, online learning resource that provides high-quality educational content on a broad set of conservation issues. The site houses a suite of compelling, effective learning content in subjects such as coral-reef restoration, forest management, protected areas and much more. Conservation Training was created by The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with leading conservation organizations, because of the need for increasing our stores of specific knowledge and expertise to meet the increasingly urgent challenges facing the Earth’s natural systems.