Mangroves got a Budget push
06, Feb 2023
Prelims level : Bio Diversity & Its Threat Mains level : GS-III Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental impact assessment.
Why in News?
- The Union Budget for 2023-24 announced an initiative for mangrove plantation along the coastline and on salt pan lands, under MISHTI (Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes).
About MISHTI scheme:
- Building on India’s success in afforestation, ‘Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes’, MISHTI, will be taken up for mangrove plantation along the coastline and on salt pan lands, wherever feasible, through convergence between MGNREGS, CAMPA Fund and other sources.
What are Mangroves?
- Mangroves are the plant communities occurring in inter-tidal zones along the coasts of tropical and subtropical countries.
- Mangrove forests perform multiple ecological functions such as production of woody trees, provision of habitat, food and spawning grounds for fin-fish and shellfish, provision of habitat for birds and other valuable fauna; protection of coastlines and accretion of sediment to form new land.
- Among the states and Union Territories, West Bengal has the highest percentage of area under total Mangrove cover followed by Gujarat and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- The India State of Forest Report gives the data about mangroves and their conditions in the country.
Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC):
- Launched at the 27th session of Conference of Parties (COP27) UN climate summit, with India as a partner.
- An initiative led by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Indonesia, the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC) includes India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Japan, and Spain.
- It seeks to educate and spread awareness worldwide on the role of mangroves in curbing global warming and its potential as a solution for climate change.
What is the current state of the mangroves?
- South Asia houses some of the most extensive areas of mangroves globally, while Indonesia hosts one-fifth of the overall amount.
- India holds around 3 per cent of South Asia’s mangrove population.
- Besides the Sundarbans in West Bengal, the Andamans region, the Kachchh and Jamnagar areas in Gujarat too have substantial mangrove cover.
About Indian Sundarbans:
- Covers 4,200 sq. km and includes the Sunderban Tiger Reserve of 2,585 sq. km — home to about 96 royal Bengal tigers (as per the last census in 2020).
- It is a world heritage site and a Ramsar site (a wetland site designated to be of international importance).
- It is also home to a large number of “rare and globally threatened species, such as the critically endangered northern river terrapin (Batagur baska), the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), and the vulnerable fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus).”
- Two of the world’s four horseshoe crab species, and eight of India’s 12 species of kingfisher are also found here. Recent studies claim that the Indian Sundarban is home to 2,626 faunal species and 90% of the country’s mangrove varieties.