Jim Enright, MAP Asia Coordinator, was invited to attend an international conference “Mangroves for Coastal Area Management” during August 7-10 organized by the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), in Chennai, India. The conference was organized to commemorate the International Year of Forestry, and organized by MSSRF in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India and Society for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (SICOM), Government of India.
The conference was attended by invited scientists, researchers, conservation experts and policy makers from India and abroad who deliberated on the current status of mangroves in selected countries, community and innovative initiatives in the conservation and sustainable use of mangrove wetland systems. The conference also discussed and identified future research areas and policy interventions, in the emerging scenario of climate change, sea level rise and global warming, so as to ensure saving lives and livelihoods of coastal fishing and farming communities.
Following broad areas were discussed:
• Mangrove Resources – Status, threats and opportunities
• Mangroves and Livelihood: People centric approaches in mangrove conservation, restoration and management
• Ongoing research programmes and future research needs in light of climate change and sea level rise (Systems biology, physiology, genetics, biotechnology, GIS and modelling, ICT etc)
• Coastal zone regulation and wetlands management – Issues and perspectives and policy implications
Jim made a powerpoint presentation on Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) in the Mangroves and Livelihoods session which was well very received. During the field trip to Pichavaram mangroves there was an opportunity to visit a MSSRF initiated Integrated Mangrove Fishery Farming System funded through Mangroves for the Future (MFF) small grant support. The low intensity system will support fish rearing along with prawns and crabs without any artificial feeding while increasing the mangrove buffer greenbelt.