Odisha situated in east coast of India is considered world’s most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change induced natural disasters. The effects of sea-level rise, increased frequency and intensity of cyclones, floods, soil erosion, and salinity intrusion pose a serious threat for Odisha. Unfortunately, the extreme poverty has been forced these people for cutting, highly dependent and destroying mangroves knowingly and un-knowingly. The only support and refuge from these threats is strengthening, surviving mangroves in Odisha. Community participation is the hall mark of our success and that have sustained and encouraged us to lead the way towards our mission on mangroves.
Mangrove Restoration/Plantation- We have been working on mangrove restoration & plantation through community participation. We are promoting eco restoration project, which is not only successful but cost effective. We are happy that, some of our plantation sites are now protecting some rare and endangered species of reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, etc. The biodiversity have increased i.e. fish, many bird species like kingfisher, heron, etc., crocodile were reported residing in these sites.
Community Awareness – We have been continuously creating awareness on mangroves. These awareness meetings help the community to understand the importance of mangroves. Through mangrove school education programme , we have been conducted various programmes such as exposure visit of school students to various mangrove ecosystems, conducted nature study camp for school students and teachers, among school students.
Village Mangrove Councils- Our experimentation on setting up gender balanced VMC (Village Mangrove Council) has been quite satisfying as an appropriate community based institutional design for taking our initiative forward and conserving the mangroves in a sustainable manner.
Sustainable Livelihood for Mangrove Dependent Communities- We are supporting and promoting innovations with appropriate technologies, capacity building training, skill development and promotion of sustainable livelihood alternatives that help local communities supplement their incomes and reducing the pressure on mangrove forest. We are promoting alternative livelihood through WSHGs.
Taking Forward Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)- Our initiative is unique, because greater community partnership ensures the sustainable management, reduction of degradation, restoration of mangroves, stability of food security, and sustainability of other related development activities and thus contributes substantially towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Way Forward- We want to build on the momentum, strengthen & sustain community stewardship in conservation, restoration and sustainable management of mangroves taking into account the vulnerability of the area to natural disasters, ensure livelihood security for local communities, restoration of wildlife habitat and conservation of ecologically and internationally significant natural resources. We need your support to continue our efforts on mission mangroves.