The International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2015 and celebrated each year on 26 July, aims to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems as “a unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem”. Hello Vizag brings to you insights of Mangroves in Visakhapatnam.
In Visakhapatnam, mangroves plantation was once found in abundance near the Naval Dockyard extending up to Meghadrigedda reservoir on the rear-side of the airport. These forests have been cleared over the decades due to industrialization, urban development projects, Port Trust activities and setting up of solar panels. The water near Mangroves have been dried and they are dumped with Industrial wastes and rubbish.
How are they being destroyed?
● Construction of Reservoirs.
● Industrial projects and rapid urbanization development.
● Setting up of solar panels
● Port Development Activities.
● Building of Road and Railway Projects, Bridges, etc
Refineries, Factories, Coal Transport and Stacking, Sand Mining, Port Activities, Naval Airports, etc. are the other potential contributors to the decline in Mangroves cover.
Why is it a worry?
● Visakhapatnam faced a severe Cyclone, HudHud in 2014 and many similar devastating cyclonic storms since then. The removal of the mangroves was highly responsible for these devastating effects of cyclones.
● Visakhapatnam has faced drastic beach erosion since 2012.As the mangroves were cut and the sea was impounded into a narrow channel, the erosive power of the sea was strengthened near Rk Beach and surrounding areas, thus causing beach Erosion.
● The Mangroves are Home to Rare Species of Birds and Olive Ridley Turtles which are being threatened by this deforestation, forcing the turtles to migrate to populated beaches, where they often meet their death due to plastic problem and frequent Human-Animal Conflicts.
Hence, the volunteers of FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE ANDHRA PRADESH have collected data online from research articles, news articles, satellite imaging, filed RTIs and took to digital media posts and tweetstorms to protest against this amidst lockdown.
They have also have conducted awareness programmes at various places of the city maintaining all safety precautions as the devastation in nature would not be stopping amidst pandemic.
They had striked in front of Port Trust and Collector Office maintaining all safety precautions.
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