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Mangroves are a critical ecosystem, especially for Mumbai and its surrounding region. Consistent reclamation of land, including the sewing together of its seven islands, has caused the city to expand tremendously. Coupled with climate change and global warming, this will result in a change in water levels.

Mangroves are the best forms of natural protection against this. As natural barriers, they reduce soil erosion and simply put, provide stability to the land. Not only do they act as a barrier, but also act as a source of livelihood to thousands of economically weaker sections of coastal communities.

In the absence of our mangrove ecosystems, we fear that Mumbai will be extremely vulnerable to climate change.

Illegal dumping, encroachment, toxic pollutants are some of the most common threats to the mangrove cover of Mumbai. Vanashakti has constantly acted as overseer for mangrove related issues in and around Mumbai. From illegal dumping to encroachment, Vanashakti has wrestled to safeguard one of the most important and delicate ecosystems of Mumbai.

  Vanashakti has helped in the preservation of mangroves through:
 
Research and Documentation of mangroves in the Mumbai metropolitan region through photo documentation, regular visits and archiving databases of species with identification keys
Development of informational material, such as a basic information booklet consisting of common mangrove species including, the mangrove habitat in simple terminology and concepts to introduce the reader to the wonderful behaviour and adaptation of mangrove ecosystems.
Mangrove education is key to the preservation and restoration of mangroves. Through organising regular field trips to the mangrove areas for school children, Vanashakti introduces them to the various features and characters of the ecosystem, supplementing typical theoretical classroom learning.
Restoration of degraded areas and planting of rare species of mangroves to improve the biodiversity.
 

While Vanashakti already works in preservation, it hopes to focus on the restoration of the mangroves. Restoration is a science with its roots in understanding the rate, state and pattern of recovery in an ecosystem. This can only take place with regular field visits, documentation, basic research and local support. The process will be facilitated by the local fisherman communities in the region through the development of nurseries and the creation of a germplasm for the various species in Mumbai. The project shall create a unique platform for community based conservation and restoration of mangrove habitats. Species that have been lost will be identified based on their status and importance to the habitat.

 
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