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Why have mangroves got a Budget push?

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environment – Unique Ecosystem, Geography

 

Source: The Hindu

 Context: The Union Budget for 2023-24 announced an initiative for mangrove plantation along the coastline and on saltpan lands, under MISHTI (Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes).

  

About Mangroves:

  • Mangroves are salt-tolerant plant communities found in tropical and subtropical intertidal regions. They are important refuges of coastal biodiversity and act as bio-shields against extreme climatic events. 
  • They are located in the intermediate zone between the land and the sea and represent one of the best examples of ecotone.

 

Threats to mangroves:

  • Deforestation: Agriculture and aquaculture, urban development, and harvestinghave caused the loss of more than a quarter of mangrove forests.
  • Land reclamation for agriculture and industrial activities has occurred in areas, which are under the Coastal Regulation Zone.
  • Increasing population in coastal areas

 

Mangroves in India

  • The ‘State of World Mangroves 2022’ report by the Global Mangrove Alliance puts the total mangrove cover of the world at 1,47,000 sq km (14.7 million hectares).
  • India has about 4,992 sq km (0.49 million hectares) of mangroves, according to the Indian State of Forest Report (IFSR) 2021.
  • Mangroves in India are distributed across nine States and three Union Territories with West Bengal having the highest mangrove cover of 2,114 sq km.
  • The IFSR report also points out that there has been an increase in the mangrove cover from 4,046 sq km in 1987 to 4,992 sq km in 2021.

 

About MISHTI Scheme:

  • MISHTI will be implemented through convergence between the MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme), CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) Fund, and other sources.
  • Organizations that have been involved in mangrove plantations say that the initiative requires extensive work with local communities.

 

Insta Links:

 

 

Prelims Link: UPSC 2011

The 2004 Tsunami made people realize that mangroves can serve as a reliable safety hedge against coastal calamities. How do mangroves function as a safety hedge?

 

(a) The mangrove swamps separate the human settlements from the sea by a wide zone in which people neither live nor venture out.

(b) The mangroves provide both food and medicines which people are in need of after any natural disaster.

(c) The mangrove trees are tall with dense canopies and serve as an excellent shelter during a cyclone or Tsunami.

(d) The mangrove trees do not get uprooted by storms and tides because of their extensive roots.

 

Solution : D

 

Mains Link: UPSC 2019

Discuss the causes of the depletion of mangroves and explain their importance in maintaining coastal ecology.