Model Mangrove Plantation in the Sundarbans


The mangroves of the Sundarbans

The mangrove forest of the Sundarbans plays a crucial role in protecting the islands as well as the city of Kolkata from natural calamities and provide rich habitat for innumerable flora and fauna. Importantly, they also form vital ‘blue carbon’ sinks helping mitigation of climate change crisis. Despite its importance, the mangrove forests are worldwide under threat and the same can be said about the Sundarbans.
To address this vital issue, SOCEO in collaboration with Prasanta Chandra Mahalanbis College organised a one-day symposium on the mangroves of the Sundarbans in January 2019. Leading experts on the subject were invited to take part in the symposium in order to formulate a coping mechanism to restore the Mangroves of the Sundarbans. In the symposium the experts expressed their concerns about the fact that while many organisations are active in regenerating the mangrove forest or planting new mangroves in the Sundarbans the efforts are not adequate. Secondly, they suggested that planting efforts should further be guided by latest scientific findings and should be taken up following a joint protection model involving local communities living in the area.

Model Mangrove Plantation

Based on the suggestions formulated by the expert in the symposium, Soceo in collaboration with its local partner organisation Mrittika Prayas Foundation started a model mangrove plantation in two selected mangrove habitat sites in the Sundarbans. In the initial model plantation 10.000 mangrove trees have been planted under scientific and technical guidance of Dr. Punarbasu Chaudhury from Department of Environmental Science, University of Calcutta. The local community members have been involved in the process from the beginning of the initiative to jointly develop and protect the reforested areas. The aim of this model plantation is to prepare the ground for further large scale plantations in the Sundarbans.
The pilot project has been supported by the Consulate General of Germany in Kolkata.