Thursday June 01, 2023

International day for mangrove conservation observed at KU

July 27, 2018

Students and faculty members of the Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilization (ISHU) at the University of Karachi (KU) observed the International Day for the Conservation of Mangrove Ecosystem on Thursday.

In a statement issued by the varsity, activities aimed at raising awareness about the importance of this unique ecosystem took place on the occasion. “This is an invitation to renew our efforts to support the preservation of an ecosystem that is vital for our planet and its inhabitants,” Dr Gul said.

Dr Bilquees Gul, Director of ISHU, read out a message by UNESCO’s Director General Audrey Azoulay to the audience following a lecture emphasising UNESCO’s commitment to supporting sustainable conservation of mangroves through various platforms all over the globe.

In the message, Miss Azoulay emphasised the need for mangroves and the role they play in the betterment of the environment, stating that they provide protection from storms, tsunamis and rising sea levels.

“They prevent shoreline erosion, regulate coastal water quality, maintain fishing areas and contribute to improving food security for many coastal communities,” it added.

The statement read that mangroves also provide a habitat for endangered marine species while their natural mechanisms for storing atmospheric carbon, known as blue carbon sinks, help mitigate the effects of climate disruption along coasts yet they are seriously threatened. It was also estimated that the global coverage of mangroves has been halved in 40 years, largely as a result of coastal development.

Through its biosphere reserves and geoparks which include mangrove forests in various parts of the world such as the Sundarbans between India and Bangladesh, one of the planet’s largest mangrove forests, UNESCO is actively working to increase awareness about this unique ecosystem and improve its management and preservation, the statement added.

During the seminar, local and foreign mangrove experts delivered online lectures on the importance of mangrove ecosystem. It was also mentioned that a poster competition, field trips and site visits will also be organised for students in the coming week.