Thiruvananthapuram | Apollo Tyres and Wildlife Trust of India have entered into a partnership to restore a critical mangrove project in Kerala’s Kannur district.
Apollo Tyres and Wildlife Trust of India announced the partnership to coincide with the International Day for Biodiversity yesterday. The Kannur Kandal project (mangrove conservation) aims at ensuring survival of existing mangroves and increase acreage of such habitats across Kannur, potentially making it a prototype for other coastal districts of Kerala and a model for the rest of the country, a release from the tyre major said.
The actual site for Apollo Tyres WTI’s project will be in Kunhimangalam village in Kannur district, which is one of the largest mangrove villages of Kerala. The project will establish a hub, located in the natural ecosystem, for mangrovebased education, serving as an open air laboratory for research and promoting restoration through community and government participation.
A mangrove nursery and communitybased initiatives to enhance public awareness and reduce threats to mangroves are other aspects of the project. Particular efforts will be made to generate scientific interest about mangroves among the youth, the release said.
Mangrove area in Kerala has reduced drastically over the years, with only 1,750 hectares of an estimated historical 70,000 hectares remaining. Conversion into coconut plantations or other agricultural land, aquaculture, unscientific water regulation, population pressures, real estate development, inadequate enforcement of laws etc have all contributed towards mangrove destruction.
Land secured with the support of World Land Trust, an international NGO, will serve as the nodal site for all conservation activities conducted by WTI and Apollo under this project. On the commencement of the mangrove conservation project, Satish Sharma, President, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (APMEA region), Apollo Tyres Ltd said, Biodiversity conservation is an important thrust area within our Environmental Sustainability initiative Habitat Apollo.
The abuse and decline of mangrove forests should be of particular concern to all of us, primarily for the loss of their marvellous biodiversity, but also for their value as a natural buffer against climate change and its attendant adverse effects, said Vivek Menon, WTI’s Executive Director and CEO.