VISAKHAPATNAM: Objective of the programmes to protect and improve mangroves is not to continue them as government programmes but to make the industry and non-formal sector to be partners, Special Secretary to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests B.S. Parsheera said here on Tuesday.
Mangroves for Future was a national action plan to identify potential States and areas to raise the mangroves, which were the first line of defence against cyclones and tsunami and for increasing the growth of fish, Mr. Parsheera said during the inaugural session of the two-day meeting of MEoF’s National Committee on Mangroves and Coral Reefs, being organised by the Department of Environmental Sciences of Andhra University. Mr. Parsheera, Chairman of the National Committee, wanted the States to develop management plans to execute a scheme successfully.
The officials also said that former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had agreed to hand over the Environment Protection Training and Research Institute in Hyderabad to MoEF and process was on in this direction. The institute would be integrated in the efforts to protect mangroves and coral reefs.
There were also proposals to create biosphere reserves at Chintapalli in Visakha Agency and Seshachalam hills (near Tirupati) and the two projects were expected to be realised soon. Biosphere reserves have been identified this year at Pancharhi in MP, Nokrek in Meghalaya and Similipal in Orissa.
The Information Unit for Conventions of the UN sanctioned Rs. 40.3 crores for a major programme in Sundarbans, West Bengal.
Joint Secretary to MoEF B.P. Nilaratna, while giving the status of mangroves in the country, said they were spread over an area of 4,445 square km and 3,000 hectares have been identified for development with an expenditure of Rs. 6.1 crores. Thirty eight sites for mangroves and four for coral reefs have been identified.