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A campaign launched by United Way Bengaluru called ‘Mangroves Matters’ to restore Mangrove Ecosystems

28th May 2024: Recent reports showed that there was about 35% loss in mangroves between 1996 and 2010, showcasing a concerning trend in environmental degradation. Mangrove ecosystems play a significant role in stabilizing coastlines, making their preservations of coastline, making their preservation a crucial, paramount global threat.

They can sequester carbon at a rate five times greater than tropical forests. To respond to this urgent need, United Way Bengaluru (UWBe) has launched their aspiring and impactful campaign, called ‘Mangroves Matter’, to re-energize the mangrove ecosystem.

The first foot is at Pulicat or Pazhaverkadu, which is a coastal town near Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Known as the ‘jungle of roots’ in Tamil, Pulicat encompasses a vast expanse of 720 sq. km, constituting India’s second-largest brackish water body.

The Rampant destruction of mangrove vegetation by human activities and natural causes has led to a massive reduction in the lake’s depth from 3.8m to 2m. This ecological decline has endangered the cycle of biodiversity and has threatened the livelihoods of the local fisherfolk department in the mangrove ecosystems.

The campaign launched by United Way Bengaluru, named ‘Mangroves Matters’ was officially launched on World Wetlands Day, 2024, with an extremely bold vision to rewild approximately 10 lakh mangroves across 100 acres in the Pulicat region alone.

In addition to its environmental advantages, the campaign will closely work with the Irula community, to open livelihood opportunities for them and boost the local economy by supporting the cultivation of shrimp and fish species. The project with the local economy by supporting the cultivation of shrimp and other fish species. The projects also include the removal of Prosopis (Karuvelam), which is an invasive species that has destroyed the local flora and soil ecosystems.  

Sriram Ananthanarayanan, Director-Projects, UWBe, said, “I am glad that many of our Corporate CSR partners have come forward to support this campaign with a shared vision towards environmental commitment. Notably, our CSR partner, Mphasis, has pledged their support to this cause, dedicating the rewilding of mangroves on 70 acres in Pulicat.”

Looking ahead, United Way Bengaluru envisions extending the campaign’s reach to other regions, including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala. Upholding its mission of “mobilizing the caring power of communities,” the organization calls upon organizations from different industries to join hands in supporting this vital mission for the preservation of the planet’s precious ecosystems.

Rajesh Krishnan, CEO, of UWBe, said, “COP28 made significant progress towards securing the Mangrove Breakthrough’s goal of 15 million hectares of mangroves underpinned by USD 4 billion new investments by 2030. I am super excited that United Way Bengaluru is among the very few organizations that have taken this initiative. ‘Mangroves Matter’ is aligned with the aspiration of COP28, which calls out the responsibility of the State, corporations, local people, community, NGOs, and other stakeholders to deliver the Breakthrough.”


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