Mangroves cut across ecosystems, sectors, jurisdictions and governance regimes. While few countries have a specific mangrove law, many national and international regimes apply to or affect mangroves in some way. Despite the plethora of applicable laws, mangroves continue to deteriorate rapidly, driven by urbanization, population growth and unsustainable development. This assessment explores the many legal and governance approaches and enabling conditions relating to mangroves in an attempt to understand what works and under what conditions, and to provide recommendations on how to improve governance for mangrove protection and sustainable use. It begins with an assessment of international and national legal and policy instruments, and proceeds to examine how these instruments are implemented and with what results. Seven case studies illustrate how mangrove governance plays out in practice.