Plant Trees SF Events 2005 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018


'Mangroves can act as shield against tsunami'    By G. Venkataramani

CHENNAI, DEC. 27. "Tsunami is a rare phenomenon. Though we cannot prevent the occurrence of such
natural calamities, we should certainly prepare ourselves to mitigate the impact of the natural fury
on the population inhabiting the coastal ecosystems. Our anticipatory research work to preserve
mangrove ecosystems as the first line of defence against devastating tidal waves on the eastern
coastline has proved very relevant today.

The dense mangrove forests stood like a wall to save coastal communities living behind them," said
M.S. Swaminathan, Chairman, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai.

The mangroves in Pitchavaram and Muthupet region acted like a shield and bore the brunt of the

The impact was mitigated and lives and property of the communities inhabiting the region were saved.

"When we started the foundation 14 years ago, we initiated the anticipatory research programme - a
two-pronged strategy - to meet the eventualities of sea level rise due to global warming. One is to
conserve and regenerate coastal mangroves along the eastern coast of the country, and the second is
transfer of salt-tolerant genes from the mangroves to selected crops grown in the coastal regions.

It is now found that wherever the mangroves have been regenerated, especially in the Orissa coast,
the damage due to tsunami is minimal," he said.

Livelihood options

The MSSRF will soon be publishing a scientific document `Tsunami and mangroves' highlighting the
need to conserve and rehabilitate mangroves as the frontline defence against tidal forces.

The foundation will also prescribe multiple and multi-level livelihood options for the communities
inhabiting the mangrove ecosystem.

Alternative cropping patterns to provide household economic and nutrition security for the rural
poor will also be developed, according to Prof. Swaminathan.
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.