KARACHI: Mangroves can help ensure a sustainable development process in the country. This was emphasised by Coastal Areas Commander Vice Admiral Fayyaz Gillani at the mangrove plantation campaign organised by the Pakistan Navy at Port Bin Qasim on Monday.
Mangroves play a significant role in fending-off the adverse effects of coastal hazards spurred by climate change, said Gillani, the chief guest at the event.
Uniformed officials of the Pakistan Navy could be seen with shovels in hand, planting saplings of mangroves at the site in Port Qasim. They were joined by members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Pakistan FisherFolk Forum and forest department officials. "Deforestation of mangroves in the country does not only distort the biodiversity of coastal areas but also affects the livelihoods of coastal communities," said Gillani. He added that institutional measures were needed to prevent deforestation of mangroves.
Pakistan sets world record by planting over one million mangroves
Speaking on the occasion, IUCN Country Representative Mahmood Akhtar Cheema highlighted the economic benefits of mangroves. One hectare of mangroves could generate benefits worth $1,365, he said. According to Cheema, mangroves were the custodians of the coast. The livelihood of thousands of people depended on them.
This is the fourth plantation campaign organised by the Pakistan Navy in its efforts to preserve and revive mangroves forests in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2019.
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