The depleting mangroves around the world have caused major environmental concern since they work as a carbon sink and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Apart from carbon sequestration, it helps the ecosystem in a major way by providing natural habitat to several species.
Another extremely important part that mangroves play is of protector of coastal areas during natural disasters like a tsunami. IFS officer Parveen Kaswan shared a video on Twitter which showed how mangrove shelterbelts protect the coastline by absorbing the shock.
A simple video showing how #Mangrove shelter belts are protector of coastline during #tsunami, #cyclone and #storms. We just need to protect these unique #ecosystem for saving us from future #natural disasters.— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) January 19, 2020
Courtesy; Dutch research institute Deltares. pic.twitter.com/xbl3shDllA
Netizens thanked the IFS officer for sharing the video which explained the importance in a simple manner. “Wow such a simple and vivid explanation how these mangrove forests save us. Thanks for sharing sir,” commented a user. “This is a great stuff. That's exactly how schools should demonstrate geography and environmental studies to students,” replied another user.
Earlier in January, the Bombay High Court had rapped up the civic body of Navi Mumbai for failing to protect mangroves in the area. A division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and R I Chagla referred to the Australian bushfire disaster while hearing the plea filed by NGOs Save Mangroves and Navi Mumbai Existence.
"Look at what is happening in Australia....the fire is because of the absence of mangroves. Here, we have mangroves but you (civic authority) are not doing anything to protect them,” the court said.
Similarly, the alarming depletion of mangroves of Sunderban Delta, a UNESCO heritage site, has also been the result of climate change and rise in sea level. The mean sea-level rise leads to coastal erosion, coastal flooding and an increase in the number of tidal creeks.
Overharvesting, pollution, conversion of land for agriculture, aquaculture, urbanization, oil and gas industry has been threatening the survival of mangroves for a long time. But after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the importance of mangroves was widely recognised.