Background: Mangrove forest restoration and rehabilitation programs are increasingly undertaken to re-establish ecosystem services in the context of community-based biodiversity conservation. Restoration is returning a habitat to the most natural condition, whereas rehabilitation often focuses on optimising ecosystem services alongside biodiversity. With many different restoration and rehabilitation objectives and techniques existing, it is difficult to assess the general effectiveness of restoration and rehabilitation on biodiversity and ecosystem services. This systematic review protocol presents a methodology that will be used to assess the impacts of mangrove forest restoration and rehabilitation on biodiversity and provisioning ecosystem services in a global context. Methods: This review will assess studies that have undertaken biodiversity surveys of restored and rehabilitated mangrove forests by comparing them against suitable mature reference mangrove forests within the same region, or surveys prior to degradation of the forest. This review will investigate how the age and initial tree diversity of a restoration or rehabilitation activities determine the effectiveness of these initiatives. Taxa of commercial value to local communities will be assessed to identify whether rehabilitation for optimal ecosystem service provision is likely to conflict with the full restoration of mangrove forests.