Community led mangrove conservation efforts by Reliance Foundation draws appreciation from Odisha Chief Secretary

Bhubaneswar: As the world is celebrating the World Environment Day, community volunteers working on conservation of the Mangrove ecosystem in disaster prone Balasore district in Odisha have a reason to rejoice as their efforts and hard work over last one year has received appreciation from higher authorities in the state government.

In response to a mangrove plantation video post on popular social media platform X (earlier known as Twitter), Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena appreciated the effort made by community volunteers and Reliance Foundation, which supported the community led conservation of mangrove ecosystem along Odisha coast. Describing this as one of the most effective climate mitigation measures, very effective against coastal erosion and biodiversity protection, he urged Forest Dept. to plan massive mangroves all along the Odisha coast.  (

As part of its continuing efforts and community led initiatives promoting Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for Disaster Risk Reduction in disaster prone districts of Odisha, Reliance Foundation in partnership with the local communities, has initiated conservation programme centered on conservation of the mangrove ecosystem in disaster prone Balasore, Jagatsinghapur, and Ganjam districts of the state.  Reliance Foundation has planted more than 50,000 mangroves hypocotyl/plants to support the coastal biodiversity along with creating awareness amongst the community about conservation. This initiative began with plantation of hypocotyls starting from last year’s World Environment Day under the Plant4Life initiative of Reliance Foundation and has flourished through community leadership over the last one year.

Further advancing this initiative, Reliance Foundation has been extending support in establishing and maintaining a community led mangrove nursery, primarily aiding the communities in Kharasahapur, Abhana, Aruhabad, and Baripada Grampanchayats in Balasore district. To build a resilient community in this disaster hotspot and to conserve the mangrove ecosystem, Reliance Foundation supported in establishing a community led mangrove nursery near to the plantation site, which can address the seasonal variations, enhance survival rates, get protection from crabs and achieve robust root systems. Also, the sapling stocking strategy helps in addressing casualties in plantation sites and contribute to sustain the mangrove conservation.  It keeps the community at the core of the programme, starting from identifying the site location, ensuring that seedlings received periodic tidal inundations for growth, and community awareness programs and training sessions with experts.

Along with the community, multi-stakeholder partnerships have played vital role in the process, with technical guidance from Kanika Forest Range, the Divisional Forest Office of Balasore and Odisha Paryavaran Sanrakshan Abhiyan Trust in conducting awareness initiatives. Kharasahapur Gram Panchayat fostered grassroots involvement, ensuring community awareness and nursery care, proving the importance of local government bodies to the process.

It is worth mentioning that mangrove ecosystems are integral to coastal communities, offering protection from erosion, saltwater intrusion, and flooding, while also enhancing food security by conserving fertile soil. Additionally, mangroves are significant carbon sinks, absorbing vast amounts of carbon dioxide.

Comments are closed.