Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt): India on Tuesday called up on the member countries on Mangrove Alliance for Climate (AMC) to join hands and strive for conservation of mangroves under reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) programme for carbon sequestering.
India is among the five nations who constitute the MAC. Other countries include Australia, Japan, Spain and Sri Lanka.
Addressing the launch of MAC on the side-lines of 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, Union minister for forest, environment and climate change Bhupendra Yadav said conservation of mangroves—one of the marvels of mother nature—is in line with India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5- 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
He said this tidal forest serves as a nursery ground for several organisms, protects coastal erosion, sequesters carbon, and provides the livelihood for millions of people, besides it harbours an array of faunal elements in its habitat. “Mangroves are distributed in the tropical and sub-tropical region of the world and are found in 123 countries. They are among the most carbon-rich forests in the tropics. They account for 3% of carbon sequestered by the world’s tropical forests,” added Yadav.
“We see the tremendous potential mangroves have for mitigation of growing GHG concentration in the atmosphere. Studies have shown that mangrove forests can absorb four to five times more carbon emissions than landed tropical forests,” said the Union minister, adding that mangroves are the economic foundations of many tropical coastal regions.
To sustain the blue economy, Yadav said, it is imperative to ensure the sustainability of coastal habitats, particularly mangroves for tropical nations, at the local, regional, and international levels. “It has also been revealed that mangroves can act as buffer for Ocean acidification and act as sink for micro-plastics,” he added.
India committed to conservation of mangroves
India is committed to conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems; and has strong commitments towards conservation and management of mangroves.
One of the largest remaining areas of mangroves in the world, the Sundarbans supports an exceptional level of biodiversity in both the terrestrial and marine environments, including significant populations of a range of flora and plant species; species of wildlife wide range of fauna, including the Bengal Tiger and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python. There is significant increase observed in mangroves cover in India in its Andamans region; Sundarbans region; and in the Gujarat region.
India demonstrated expertise on mangrove management
India has demonstrated expertise in mangrove restoration activities for nearly five decades and restored different types of mangrove ecosystems both on its east and west coasts. Hence, it can contribute to the global knowledge base due to its extensive experience in mangrove restoration, studies on ecosystem valuation and carbon sequestration and also benefit from associating with other nations regarding cutting-edge solutions and generating appropriate financial instruments for mangrove conservation and restoration.
Minister of climate change and environment, Kingdom of United Arab Emirates (UAE) Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri, minister of forestry and environment, Indonesia, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, attended the meeting along with representatives of the MAC member countries.