Scheme to protect mangroves inaugurated

: Forest Minister Benoy Viswom said here on Wednesday that society had begun to acknowledge the key role played by mangrove forests in stabilising the earth's ecosystem. He was addressing a function organised at the All Saints College here to inaugurate a financial assistance scheme launched by the Forest Department to protect mangroves.

The Minister said the 700 sq. km. of mangrove forests in Kerala had diminished over the years. “Mangroves have proved to be natural barrier against huge tsunami waves. They are also known to provide a breeding ground for fish. Protection of mangroves will provide a lasting solution to many environmental problems,” he said.

Under the funding scheme taken up as part of the International Year of Biodiversity, owners of land with mangrove forests are eligible for assistance up to Rs.4,000 a year. They will get Rs.10 to plant a mangrove sapling and an additional Rs.2 after one year.

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