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Mangrove conservation project by Apollo Tyres held in Kerala, India

Mangrove conservation project by Apollo Tyres held in Kerala, India

The mangrove conservation project by Apollo Tyres-Kannur Kandal project- in partnership with Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), commemorated the UNESCO-mandated international day for the conservation of mangroves at Kannur, Kerala. Mayor of Kannur Municipality, E P Latha was the Chief Guest at this half-day event, which was attended by senior Govt and Forest officials, representatives of Apollo Tyres and WTI, Community Members and Academia.

The Kannur Kandal project aims at ensuring the survival of the existing mangroves and increase acreage of such habitats across Kannur, potentially making it a prototype for other coastal districts of Kerala and a model for rest of the country. The students of Payyanur College in Kerala presented a skit on ‘Mangroves – Our Friends’. The project is based in Kunhimangalam village, which is one of the largest mangrove villages of Kerala, and has established a Mangrove Interpretation Centre, located in the natural ecosystem, for mangrove-based research and education, and the promotion of mangrove restoration through community and government participation.

A mangrove nursery has been established and community-based initiatives launched to enhance public awareness and reduce threats to mangroves. Special efforts are being made to generate scientific interest about mangroves among the youth. In the last fiscal, the project has been able to reach out to over 10,000 stakeholders and has
developed a nursery with 3,000 saplings, which is being used for mangrove restoration.

“Environment is a key stakeholder for our organisation, and its conservation is integral to us. This project on Mangrove Conservation serves the critical need for raising awareness on the protection of this fragile ecosystem that is essential for the existence of coastal landscapes,” said Satish Sharma, President, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (APMEA), Apollo Tyres.

Vivek Menon, ED and CEO, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) said: “WTI turns 20 this year and we are extremely proud of our conservation action on the ground. In our vision of a secure natural heritage of India, we have not lost sight of biodiversity-rich eco-systems such as mangroves hitherto ignored by most. The Kannur Kandal project supported
by Apollo, Tyres is a shining example of securing key habitats and we hope that in the future we can extend this to all of Kerala’ s mangroves”.

Mangrove forests are unique ecosystems, extremely rich in biodiversity, growing along inter-tidal coastal habitats
such as shorelines, estuaries and backwaters. They also act as barriers against cyclones and tsunamis. Current estimates indicate that up to 67 percent of mangroves have been lost globally to date. Mangrove area in Kerala has reduced drastically over the years. Kannur has 6 sq km of mangroves; around 67 percent of Kerala’s total mangrove forest cover.

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