The UAE and Indonesia announced the ‘Mangrove Alliance for Climate’ during the COP27 climate summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. It was further amplified at the G20 summit where the G20 presidency, Indonesia, will seize this momentum to establish sustainable and inclusive development. In addition, exploring new avenues to shape a more adaptive G20 against future crises, according to its official website.
Read more: Mangrove Alliance for Climate
The members in the alliance include UAE, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Japan, and Spain. The alliance pledges on identifying the importance of preserving mangrove ecosystems for climate change mitigation and adaptation through the use of modern technology, artificial intelligence, and innovative mechanisms and tools.
Read more: Global Mangrove Alliance
It also aims to encourage scientific, social and economic studies of mangrove forests that will help in their conservation at a global level.
Benefits of Mangroves
- The Mangrove Alliance for Climate also states that the mangrove forest covers only about 0.1% of the planet’s surface. In addition, it has the ability to sequester up to 10x more carbon per hectare than terrestrial forests.
- It is also estimated that 341 threatened species around the world depend on mangrove forests. Mangrove forests also act as barriers against rising tides and ocean storms preventing damage to properties and reducing floods.
Mangroves in India
As per the State Forest report 2021 done by the Forest Survey of India, the largest mangrove area is reported in Asia with 5.55 million hectares. The report states that mangrove cover in India is 1.2 million acres which is 0.15% of the country’s total geographical area.
Read more: India State of Forest Report 2021, Chapter 3
According to the Global mangrove alliance, India has about 3% of the total mangrove cover in South Asia. Since the last assessment in 2019, the mangrove cover in the area has risen by 17 sq km. West Bengal has the highest percentage of mangrove forest cover in India because of the Sundarbans. Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world.
Challenges with mangrove forest
The State of the World’s Mangrove 2022 states that there has been a net loss of 5,245 sq km of mangrove forests with a 4.8% loss in South Asia alone. Excessive human intervention with urban and industrial expansion along many coasts had led to a large reduction in mangrove covers. The rise in shrimp farming in the United States, Europe, Japan, and China has led to a 35% overall loss of mangrove forests.
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- Sundarbans lost two lakh crores in 40 years due to climate change