Degraded ecosystem: Mangrove planting

Published Jun 24, 2013 04:18am

PAKISTANIS have set world records in some rather odd events. For instance, last year, Guinness World Records recognised their feat in fast chappati-making and the swiftness shown by a young girl in setting up a chessboard in 15 seconds flat. But Saturday’s ADB-sponsored feat could well see recognition by Guinness of a far worthier cause: the planting of more than 750,000 mangrove saplings in the deltaic region of Thatta district. Mangroves, an integral part of our ecosystem, are being destroyed in their millions. However, even this Herculean effort to resurrect a dying natural heritage leaves many questions unanswered. For instance, what happened to the last record-setting batch of over 540,000 mangrove saplings planted in Keti Bander in 2009? Most of them are believed not to have survived. We must also ask how scientific the present exercise was and how much thought went into factors like high tide, soil quality, etc. It was a mammoth effort and one hopes that it will bear fruit. It would be a pity if all the enthusiasm and hard work went to waste, even if doubts linger about what measures will now be taken to conserve the new mangroves.

Unfortunately, the spirit behind the mangrove-planting exercise is not evident in Karachi where land grabbers and developers go unchallenged as they lay to waste vast swathes of one of nature’s most protective hatcheries for marine life, specifically crustaceans and small fish. The benefits of mangroves are well known: they are natural wind barriers and useful air filters given the level of pollution in urban areas, and they guard against tsunamis and floods. Not least, they are also a crucial source of livelihood for our coastal community. For these reasons alone, concern for the environment has to be shown at the highest level of policymaking.


Do you have information you wish to share with Dawn.com? You can email our News Desk to share news tips, reports and general feedback. You can also email the Blog Desk if you have an opinion or narrative to share, or reach out to the Special Projects Desk to send us your Photos, or Videos.

More From This Section

Hard choices for the PML-N

Having survived a tumultuous, disastrous weekend, the govt still has the opportunity to try and salvage the situation

Violence must be probed

The shocking, terrible events of Saturday evening need to be urgently investigated to prevent a repeat ahead.

Cricket flop in Sri Lanka

The series proved a sort of watershed for talented youngsters such as Ahmed Shahzad, Khurram Manzoor and Umar Akmal.

Comments (1) (Closed)


Hamid Abbasi
Jun 24, 2013 04:22pm

Let us pray for the resurrection of "COWASJI"who used to deal such matters with courage,foresightedness and wisdom.Indeed there is a dearth of these qualities among us these days. Why do you preach these things and let them fall on DEAF ears? Hamid Abbasi