About the Journey

Last Stands is a multi-media public awareness campaign by New Zealand author/photographer Kennedy Warne in collaboration with the US-based Mangrove Action Project (MAP). It aims to draw attention to the catastrophic loss of mangrove forests worldwide and how that loss affects nature’s biodiversity and the lives of millions of coastal dwellers.

Mangroves once covered 3/4 of the sheltered tropical coastlines of the world. Today they are being destroyed faster than terrestrial rainforests, and these unique environments are among the most rapidly disappearing ecosystems on the planet. Mangroves are critically endangered or approaching extinction in 26 out of the 120 countries that have them, but their passing evokes barely a murmur of protest or even recognition in developed countries.

Coral reefs, Amazonian rainforests and polar bears receive excellent media coverage. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that saving these iconic species and ecosystems is a vital and urgent concern. Mangroves, by contrast, rarely make it onto the radar of mainstream awareness. It is well past time that these rainforests of the sea were appreciated for the uniquely valuable ecosystems they are—before it is too late.

In 2007, a group of leading mangrove experts wrote in the journal Science, “…we face the prospect of a world deprived of the services offered by mangrove ecosystems, perhaps within the next 100 years.” The goal of Last Stands is to tell the mangroves’ story in order to build public support for mangrove conservation, as well as an appreciation of their great treasure of biodiversity and their importance as a vital resource for coastal populations in the developing world.

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