New Delhi : The Government has taken steps to protect sustain, conserve and augment forests in the country through promotional as well as regulatory measures. The promotional measures are being implemented through a Central Sector Scheme under National Coastal Mission Programme on ‘Conservation and Management of Mangroves and Coral Reefs’. Under this programme, annual Management Action Plan (MAP) for conservation and management of mangroves are formulated and implemented in all the coastal States and Union Territories.
Regulatory measures are implemented through Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification (2019) under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972; the Indian Forest Act, 1927; the Biological Diversity Act, 2002; and rules under these acts as amended from time to time.
As per information provided by the World Wide Fund for Nature, (WWF), India, the WWF India has enjoined citizens in nine states, which include Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha, West Bengal and Karnataka on mangrove conservation through the Magical Mangroves campaign. About 180 volunteers have committed their time towards being educated on mangrove conservation and to inspire more community members to do the same. Volunteers are equipped with a curated toolkit of presentations, videos, story books, and a mangroves app. in addition, the Magical Mangroves campaign has sensitized close to 15,600 citizens in India’s coastal states through 220 webinars.
The Government under Centrally sponsored scheme for conservation & Management of Mangroves, extend assistance to Coastal State/UTs for implementation of action plans including survey and demarcation, alternation and supplementary livelihood, protection measures and education and awareness activities.
The Ministry piloted an Integrated Coastal Zone management Project in Coastal stretches of 3 states namely Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal, with objective of Conservation and Protection of Coastal resources which included plantation of mangroves as one of the major activities.
In addition, State Government of Maharashtra has taken several proactive steps for conservation of Mangroves and a Mangrove Cell, dedicated for Mangrove conservation, has been establishment by the State Government. Further, Mangrove and Marine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation is also created for enhancing Mangrove cover and to promote research and livelihood activities under the Forest Department by the State Government.
Under the Scheme, conservation and management of mangroves in Vemband and Kannur regions in Kerala, casuarinas seedlings and mangrove associated species are distributed to public for planting in coastal areas.
The Forest Survey of India (FSI) assessed Mangrove Cover of the country in three density classes i.e. very Dense, Moderately Dense and Open Mangrove Cover on biennial basis and publishes the findings in the India State of Forest Report (ISFR). As per the ISFR 2021, the mangrove cover in the country has increased by 17 sq. km. in year 2021 as compared to the mangrove cover assessed in year 2019.
This information was given by Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change in Rajya Sabha today.