(IGP) Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013
Chapter: Gist of Press Information
Topic: Mangroves For The Future
Q. What are Mangroves?
Mangroves are plants that survive high salinity, tidal regimes, strong wind
velocity, high temperature and muddy anaerobic soil – a combination of
conditions hostile for other plants.
The mangrove ecosystems constitute a symbiotic link or bridge between
terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
They are found in the inter-tidal zones of sheltered shore,
estuaries, creeks, backwaters, lagoons, marshes and mud-flats. Mangrove
vegetation has been reported in all the coastal States/UTs. India is home to
some of the best mangroves in the world.
However, not all coastal areas are suitable for mangrove plantation as
mangrove requires an appropriate mix of saline and freshwater, and soft
substrate like mudflats to be able to grow and perpetuate.
The Government has identified 38 mangrove areas on a country wide basis for
intensive conservation and management.
Q. Why Mangroves are considered important to protect the biodiversity?
Mangrove ecosystems are rich in biodiversity and harbour a number of floral
and faunal species (both terrestrial and aquatic) many of which, e.g. the tiger,
gangetic dolphin, estuarine crocodile etc. are endangered.
They also act as nurseries for fin fish, shell fish, crustaceans and
Mangrove forests are regarded as the most productive ecosystems in the world
on account of the large quantities of organic and inorganic nutrients released
in the coastal waters by these ecosystems.
Q. How Mangroves protect the coast?
The mangroves besides providing a number of ecological
services also play a major role in protecting coastal areas from erosion, tidal
storms and surges (tsunamis). They help in land accretion by trapping the fine
debris particles. They are also an important source of honey, tannins, wax,
besides fish. Presently, these are one of the most threatened ecosystems on
account of both anthropogenic factors (reclamation of land, discharge of waste
etc) and natural factors like global warming.
Q. What is national data of Mangroves in India?
The current assessment shows that the mangrove cover in the country is
4,662.56 sq km. The mangrove plantation with an average, annual target of 3,000
hectares is undertaken on a country wide basis.
The areas supported are among the 38 areas as already identified by MoEF for
Q. Which states are broadly covers Mangroves in India?
West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and
Gujarat are the states which cover mangroves.
West Bengal has the maximum of mangrove cover in the country followed by
Gujarat and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Q. Mangroves for Future (MFF)?
The project entitled “Mangroves for Future (MFF): a strategy
for promoting investment in Coastal Ecosystem Conservation” is being coordinated
by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) covering,
initially, eight countries, including India.