India: Restoration of mangrove forests

Mangroves of the East Coast of India are in the deltaic regions of river systems such as Cauvery in Tamil Nadu; Krishna and Godavari in Andhra Pradesh; Brahmani, Baitarani and Mahanadi in Orissa; and Ganges in West Bengal. There is no study which singles out damming of rivers leading to destruction of mangroves. However, some studies conducted by M.S. Swaminathan Researh Foundation indicate a change in mangrove species composition in the East Coast region due to reduction in periodicity and quantity of freshwater reaching the mangrove environment as mangroves require an optimal mix of fresh and salt water for growth and perpetuation. As per the biennial assessment done by Forest Survey of India since 1987 using remote sensing, the mangrove forests in the country have not undergone any significant change (Annexure 1). Most States have registered an increase in mangrove cover.

The Government seeks to sustain mangroves in the country by both regulatory and promotional measures. The Coastal Regulation Zone Notification (1991), as amended subsequently, recognizes the mangrove areas as ecologically sensitive and categorizes them as CRZ I(i), which implies that these areas are accorded protection of the highest order. Under the promotional measures, the Government has identified 38 mangrove areas on a country wide basis for intensive conservation and management. Of these, 16 are in the East Coast Region. During the last three financial years, i.e. 2006-07, 2007-08, and 2008-09; a sum of Rs 418.77 Lakhs to West Bengal; Rs. 176.86 Lakhs to Orissa; Rs. 51.52 Lakhs to Andhra Pradesh; and, Rs. 209.05 Lakhs to Tamil Nadu were released under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for conservation and management of mangroves.

This information was given by the Shri Namo Narain Meena, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and currently looking after Ministry of Environment and Forests in a return reply to question by Shri S.S. Ahluwalia in the Rajya Sabha today.

State/UT wise Mangrove Cover

(area in km2)

S. No.

State/UT

Assessment Year

 

1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007
1 Andhra Pradesh 495 405 399 378 383 383 397 333 329 354 353
2 Goa 0 3 3 3 3 5 5 5 16 16 17
3 Gujarat 427 412 397 419 689 901 1031 911 916 991 1,046
4 Karnataka 0 0 0 0 2 3 3 2 3 3 3
5 Kerala 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 5 5
6 Maharashtra 140 114 113 155 155 124 108 118 158 186 186
7 Orissa 199 192 195 195 195 211 215 219 203 217 221
8 Tamil Nadu 23 47 47 21 21 21 21 23 35 36 39
9 West Bengal 2,076 2,109 2,119 2,119 2,119 2,123 2,125 2,081 2,120 2,136 2,152
10 A&N Islands 686 973 971 966 966 966 966 789 658 635 615
11 Daman & Diu 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1
12 Puducherry 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1
  Total 4,046 4,255 4,244 4,256 4,533 4,737 4,871 4,482 4,448 4,581 4,639

From Press Information Bureau

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