Students Learn About the Importance of Mangrove Conservation

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MSSRF CAbC celebrates the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem with students in SDPY KPMH School.

The International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem is celebrated every year on 26 July and aims to raise awareness on the importance of mangrove ecosystems as “a unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem” and to promote solutions for their sustainable management, conservation and uses. Ernakulam district has around 8% of the total Kerala’s coastline, extending for 46 km. A study done jointly by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management and Central Marine Fisheries Institute in 2018 reported that the district is rich with 10 true mangrove species. In the case of Diversity Indices, the district stood third after Kannur and Malappuram. Though the mangroves of the district have high single species dominance, the low basal area has indicated poor structural development. Recent research from SNM College Malankara has reported 14 true mangrove species and 42 mangrove associates from the coastline of the district. It is evident that the Mangrove cover acts as the first line of defence against sea level rise and other natural calamities like flooding and coastal rise.

A workshop was organized by MSSRF CAbC under the HDFC Parivartan project in collaboration with SDPY KPMH School to observe International Day for the Mangrove Ecosystem. The programme was conducted at SDPY KPMH School, Edavanakkad village, Ernakulam District on 26 July 2023. It was attended by over 70 people, including students, teachers, scientists and mangrove related practitioners, and representatives from local government and NGOs. The program began with a welcome address by Mr. P D Anil Kumar, Teacher, SDPY KPMH School. Prajeesh Parameshwaran, Senior Scientist, MSSRF, then gave an introduction to the program & explained the objectives of the program highlighting the importance of mangroves and their role in coastal protection.

The next session was an interaction between the students with scientists and mangrove practitioners. Scientists explained the botany, taxonomy, and ecology of the Mangrove Ecosystem. They also explained different types of mangroves, their unique features and their role in the ecosystem. The practitioners explained the importance of Mangrove forests on Vypin island, and shared their experience in restoring the stretch of mangroves and the challenges they faced. The program concluded with a vote of thanks by Mr. Ayoob K, teacher, SDPY KPMH School.