Developing a Sustainable Mangrove Ecosystem in India

India: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Kerala

A significant percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is caused by forest destruction and poor agricultural practices. Boosting carbon sequestration in forestry sector is an effective approach to reduce and remove emissions from the atmosphere. Through afforestation and reforestation of degraded mangrove habitat we aim to establish and maintain a sustainably managed mangrove ecosystem for carbon sequestration, natural disaster risk reduction, poverty reduction with sustainable livelihoods in the coastal communities.

Background of Project

Mangroves are one of the earth’s most important ecosystems and serve many critical functions: buffering coasts from storm surges, preventing coastal erosion, filtering water, storing carbon, serving as a vital habitat for a great number of species, and providing food and livelihoods for local communities. According to UNESCO, fifty percent of the world’s mangroves have disappeared in the last 40 years, and continue to be destroyed and degraded by about 1% per year. At this rate, scientists predict that mangroves may be completely gone by the year 2100 unless action is taken now to protect and restore them.

The Project

The key focus areas of this project are Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala. The project aims to implement a participatory approach by developing an action plan for integrated coastal zone management involving local communities and other stakeholders in the restoration, preservation and forest governance processes. Additionally, the project will provide livelihood opportunities through mangrove-based aquaculture and through the sale of carbon credits that will be generated from the mangrove plantations.

The Benefits

The project brings several benefits to the environment and local communities. It improves biodiversity and habitats, and food security by reducing the risk of erosion and salt intrusion in low lying agricultural land. Additionally, the mangroves act as a major carbon sink. The project contributes to the livelihoods of communities by establishing a development fund for the community, increasing sea food resources, and creating opportunities for carbon credit generation which bring in additional income.