Video blog: Sentries of the coast

If mangroves are nurtured, the forest will one day be tall enough to shield us from cyclones and tsunamis.

IUCN October 16, 2011
Across the Indus delta in Pakistan, at Keti Bundur, Siddiq Roonjha narrates the once prosperous economic history of the area However,  recent battles with cyclones and storms have seen his home inundated and his precious belongings lost. He blames all of this destruction on the reduction of mangrove plantations along the coastline. 

Siddiq, speaks of a time when the mangrove trees were enough to offer shelter from rain and storms. Now, entire villages have flooded and many people along the coast have died since the natural bio-shields found in mangroves has been lost. Development has seen the 600,000 hectares of mangrove plantations reduced to just 86,000 hectares.

Twenty years ago the waters of Keti Bundur were home to a wide variety of sealife. However, now entire species have been wiped out. Wise fisherman Siddiq knows that planting mangrove trees is the only way forward as Pakistani coastlines are highly susceptible to cyclones and tsunamis. Thus, if mangroves are protected and nurtured, the forest will one day be tall enough to shield his family.

The film is made in the backdrop of the recent tsunami in Japan, which has raised alarming signals throughout the world. There has been a massive loss of life and property and the habitants of the coastal areas like Keti Bunder are asking the same question -if a disaster hits our vast coast, how safe are we?

More videos by IUCN can be found here.

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IUCN IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice.
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