The mangrove swamps provide aquatic nurseries (breeding ground for several types of fish, shellfish and a wealth of marine life forms); complex and diverse wildlife habitats; shoreline stabilization which protects coastal areas from severe wave damage and erosion; and also maintain the quality of coastal waters (by trapping, immobilizing or absorbing heavy metals, pesticides and inorganic nutrients which would flow to the sea).
With this understanding, establishing museums out of mangrove swamps contributes to the conservation and management of mangrove eco-systems. The museums also perform the role of disseminating information that enhances public awareness and appreciation of the importance of mangroves.
Making Mangrove Eco-Museums is a publication of papers presented at a Regional Workshop on Making Mangrove an Eco-museum, organised by SEAMEO-SPAFA in 2007. It consists of presentations, discussions, explorations, and the results of co-operation of a multi-disciplinary group of museum professionals, environmental and marine science experts, architects, artists, teachers and students from nine Southeast Asian countries. The papers mostly relate to developing eco-museums in mangrove swamps; increasing interest and understanding among museum personnel and other professionals in the conservation and management of mangrove eco-systems; and supporting research and sustainable management, rational utilisation and rehabilitation of mangrove environments.