Susan Welcome to IWC chat on "Mangroves of India"
Vivek Hello! Susan
Susan Thanks for coming on time.
Vivek Mangroves are tropical and subtropical littoral plants growing at
the interface between land and sea. They grow on clayee soil which is flat
and sloping gently (mud-flats) and in the region where tidal action brings
in water regularly. Mangroves are found extensively in the estuarine
regions where mud-flats are wide and gently sloping. Besides estuaries,
they also inhabit the intertidal regions of shallow bays and creeks where
the environment is conducive for the growth of mangroves.
Vivek That is a starter for people who would be joining soon.
Susan Can I start by asking you to tell us in brief about your work in
Vivek Yeah! I started working on Mangroves in Mumbai in 1993. I joined the
Mangrove Project of the Soonabai Godrej Foundation.
Vivek It is 1750 acres of mangrove land which was subject to several
assaults before late eighties.
Susan Welcome Jayant.
Vivek The project has a three pronged approach of research, education and
Vivek The project which was launched in 1985 has now become a success
story and most of the mangrove awareness in Mumbai is because of this
success story. Right now we are majorly working on education and conservation.
Susan What are the awareness measures taken by you?
We are having an Interpretation Centre. Amar Deshpande is our
Education Officer. We have prepared several modules and regularly conduct
programmes comprising nature trails, slide shows, campaigns, quiz etc. for
various groups. We are also helping Government, NGOs or individuals who needs help to conserve mangroves, in any way. This year (from June 93) we have done 50+ programmes.
Besides, I write. I have contributed to several magazines also
spoken on most of the channels through different programmes.
Susan Do mangroves exist where river & land meet ?
Most North Indian staes are without sea coast. There are no
That is precisely the place where mangroves come luxuriently. Major
mangroves of the world are deltaic.
Vivek I am sorry, I read it as river meets the sea. The north Indians have no local word for mangroves because, they do not
Jayant Mangorves are considerd as waste land in our country, hence most
Vivek No! I feel they are considered dispensible and that is why
Susan Which are the major mangroves in Northern parts?
Jayant Vivek as I have never been in a mangorve on a trail can you tell
more about the life found in this ecosysem
The biggest mangrove in the northern India is Sunderbans. The other
important mangrove areas are: Cori Creek in Kutch, Gulf of Kutch, Bhitar
Kanika in Orissa and Mahanadi Delta.
Jayant The bengali name for mangrove is sundari hence its Sundaban am I
I suppose many of these are also Ramsar sites
Vivek The mangroves are transition areas between sea and land. So they
have life from oceanic system as well as land. A brief list would be :
Mammals like jungle cat or fishing cat, wild boars, jackal, a variety of
aquatic mammals like otters, Birds, reptiles like snakes, crocs,
amphibians, fish and a variety of lower animals.
Sundari is not a word for mangroves, it is a specific mangrove tree
called Heritiera fomes. The word Sunderban has come from Sundari. That is
Susan Mangroves are also nurseries for fishes.
Jayant That means they have a spectacular diverse life
save_wildlife HI PPL
Susan Hi save_wildlife!
Hi! Save Wildlife?
save_wildlife mangroves hmm
Vivek Only Sunderban is a ramsar site.
Jayant it means mangroves are a must for our fishing industry
save_wildlife i mean how r mangroves and fishing related?
absolutely. where will fish breed otherwise?
save_wildlife mangroves r trees
Vivek mangrove word is used for the plants in the ecosystem called mangle.
Susan Mangroves are wetlands- can have breathing roots of trees- but no
Jayant the BKC & other reclamation sites in mumbai have been "reclaimed"
by destroying Mangroves
Vivek Yes jayant. u r right
Susan Welcome Akriti
akriti btw i'm save_wildlife...just changed my name. how do u people know so much?
Jayant the pressures to destroy mangorves must be very great in mumbai
Vivek Mumbai is a small problem. The biggest culprit is agriculture and
aquaculture . More than 80% of mangroves in Maharashtra have been destroyed by these two activities.
Jayant how do yu counter this aquaculture?? i do not get this
Susan Vivek what are your views on the SethuSamudram Project? I believe it
will destroy precious mangroves
Vivek The only way to counter is by spreading awareness and fighting legal
battles. We have a hopeless political situation and courts are the only doors for us to knock.
Vivek Hi! Noooreeen, mangroves have been identified by the GoI as the
ecological hotspots along with the reefs.
Vivek.Dam will affect the sea grass beds and the coral reefs more than the mangroves.
akriti Vivek what is ur age?
Susan Akriti, Vivek has written books on mangroves. Where can one get them
Vivek I am 36.
Vivek Probably BNHS will have some stock.
nooreeen i think mangroves are a relayy important part of the environment
for all species and have to be maintained
akriti sorry but i have to go now
Vivek In different parts of the world, Mangroves are called as 'mangals',
'coastal woodlands', 'tidal forests' etc. and are littoral plant
formations. There is a great confusion about the term mangroves itself.
Many people confuse mangroves as man made wetlands because of the term
"man" in the word mangroves. The Shorter Oxford Dictionary describes the
word "mangrove" as obscurely connected with the Portuguese word "mangue"
and the Spanish word "mangle" and the English word "grove" and it dates
its origin as 1613. This explaination of the origin of the word has been
largely accepted throughout the world. However, Martha Vannucci in her
book "The Mangrove and Us" points out that the word is neither Portuguese
nor Spanish and, after an exhaustive search, she concludes that the word
"mangue" derives from the national language of Senegal. She comments that
it was probably adopted by the Portuguese, and later modified by the
Spanish, as a result of their exploration of the coast of West Africa.
nooreeen i think that just the fact that they provide an important shelter
for the many endangered species makes them a valuble peice of natural
heritage and we CANNOT afford to lose them
Jayant vivek can you spell out more on auquaculture
nooreeen akriti and i work together in a club bascically focusing on the
tiger and we are trying to promote awareness on that topic, like to
underpriveleged children who should really understand whats going on. we
have done quite a number of workshops. but for some time we are doing a
project on the yamuna and water related problems
Susan Excellent Nooreen
Vivek Aquaculture is a classic example. They need the mangroves because
the prawn spawn is only found in the mangroves as they breed there. Then
the area is cleared right within the mangroves and the crops are taken.
nooreeen Thank you but we want to do a lot more in the water department like making everyone feel a part of this project because it relates to everyone
we are doing a interactive session with cancer pateints and underpriveleged children as normal school kids
quaggalife Hi every one sorry I am late
Vivek most often the prawn farms are short lived and you have to shift to
other sites. The abundant farms can neither support mangroves, nor they
can support agriculture, leaving acres and acrs of land as saline blanks.
Jayant but isint this hurting them more as the next generation of prawns
hve no mangroves to spawn
Susan Shoot your questions quaggalife!
Vivek We have several such examples throughout the world in Gambia,
Kalimantaan in Indonesia, and several others.
Jayant it reminds of the jhoom cultivation
quaggalife Yes Susan I am just catching up with the discussion.
nooreeen so where do the next generation shift to.
Jayant can education not solve this problem
nooreeen i think it can until people are aware how do we find a solution ar execute it
quaggalife Tellme how why should a urbanite should know about mangroves
what difference does it make to them?
Vivek We are all literate not educated. That is the problem. Besides being
environmental, these are social issues. They have a full circle starting
from civics and ending at politics.
Jayant true, but prawns must be a very lucrative business and hence very
Vivek Hi! Quaggalife! You have a valid question. Do you live in a coastal
nooreeen it depends on the body who is trying to reach the urbanite they
have to strecth out in a way which captures the ordinary urbanites
interest and that lays stress on the topic and the group
quaggalife True very true but it is also correct to say that there are
enough people around who are concerned
quaggalife No I amin Delhi that spends a lot on hype about environment
Vivek No! there aren't enough people! Unless every individual or atleast
80% of the Junta adopts a conscious life, we cannot say there are enough
nooreeen that is a problem unless among children, for example, you let
them grow in an atmosphere that is concerned about these problems, like a
school which is the learning centres for children and a perfect place to
encourage this type of learning
Jayant are mangroves found in chilika?
Vivek environment is not a subject but a way of life.
nooreeen make them concerned
Vivek Noor you are right but again, we need to concentrate on various
levels. We cannot wait till children grow up?
Jayant a way f life which we have left far far behind in our quest for
nooreeen for many people they dont understand the relationship of the
environment with our life.teach it as a way of life so that they respect
Vivek Urbanisation can be achieved along with the environment friendly
lifestyle. That was the success story of the Godrej Mangrove Project
quaggalife Ok lets talk about schools. They get Rs5000 from state
government and Rs1000 fron center for environment education. What they
encourage is subscription of Times of India and Hindustan times at Rs90
each anual subscription. It has all the environmnet of wrong type isnt it
quaggalife See its like this 26 pages of 6lakhs copy every day in schools
for say 300 days is actually that many trees are cut for a price of only
Susan Is there a website about the Godrej project? IWC can give a link to
nooreeen put environmental science as an extra curricular activity as well
as in the curriculum and join the organization doing something like WWF or
quaggalife Its there and now supreme court has also given a directive on a
national level but who cares
nooreeen how do you reach adults who are not concerned
Vivek Godrej website is also on the link of Wetlands International site.
Susan Thanks, Vivek
quaggalife Most of the schools are ignoring this giving parents objections
as n excuse
Susan IWC is trying to attract the adult who is casual about environ &
Vivek Jayant, Chilika has very little mangroves. You know about the
shifting sand bars of chilika?
nooreeen who knows about the mongooses and how they are endangered, out of the city delhi almost no one, nil. i learnt about it through a documentary
nooreeen so the different smaller , insignificant problems that are
becoming big should be put up on IWC chat
Jayant all i know of chilika is that a prime wetland had fallen to a big
indutrial house for prawn farming
Vivek Chilika is only separated from the Bay of Bengal by sand bars. Due
to oceanic currents and wave actions these sand bars are not permanent and
the opening to sea keeps on shifting. Interesting?
Susan Can you suggest a topic for next month's chat?
Jayant Small mamals
quaggalife Susan lets have topic say should the animals have legal rights
nooreeen ya maybe that
Vivek I want all of you to give consideration to the impacts of river
linking on mangroves.
Vivek We may even lose Sunderbans.
quaggalife Susan lets have topic say should the animals have legal
Jayant Right in human courts? ..
Susan That is an interesting topic
Jayant yes that would be disaster
quaggalife start the discussion first rest we will see
Susan Sahara City is coming up in Sunderbans-despite it being a Ramsar
nooreeen if we lose the sunderbans we would have lost a huge peice of
quaggalife Vivek Sunderban is now Sahara's property
Vivek Everytime I spoke to Suresh Prabhu, he answered that he has this as
a concern and wants to carry out a study. You know what these studies are?
nooreeen most studies take two to five years and end up telling us nothing
Vivek Sunderban is above Ramsar, it is a World Heritage Site. It is also a
Vivek Sahara Project should be condemned at every level.
Jayant but oil is being explored right there by a dutch firm
Jayant It seems Ongc too has found gas there
nooreeen dont you guys sometimes wonder how wonderful india is and how
divers in culture as well as nature and its diffeerent ecosystems ad
nooreeen isnt the sunderban a UNESCO site as well
Vivek Yes noor, that is what I said, the World Heritage Site which is
nominated by UNESCO
Vivek Sunderban is a recent gold mine. As I said in the begining,
mangroves being dispensible, that is the least of the issues for
noreeen ok well i have to go
Jayant vivek, susan and all others I have to call off, nice to be here
today.Special thanks to Susan as I would have missed this enlightining
Vivek Other important issue is progressive weakening of CRZ
Jayant thanks vivek for a very "dil se" chat
Jayant vivek, susan and all others I have to call off, nice to be here
Susan Thanks Noor
Vivek Yes! It was nice talking to everybody. Shall we adjourn Susan?
Susan Vivek, you have inspired such a lively talk. You must log in more
Susan Yes and thanks again Vivek.
quaggalife Bye what is the next topic
Susan We will announce it in the next ezine.
Vivek I will try. But I have hectic schedules. Also my son is 1 yr. old
and he demands my attention for whatever little time I give for home.
quaggalife is the chat over
Susan For today yes. Log in next month same time same day !
Vivek Bye Everybody!