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Bio-Sentinels of Coastal Maharashtra

Conservation of mangroves and marine biodiversity in Maharashtra

31 August 2021, 10:25 BST 1 min read

The Western Indian State of Maharashtra, with a coastline of 720 km, has 32,000 hectares of mangroves, a third of which is in the metropolitan city of Mumbai and its suburbs. In January 2012, the State Government of Maharashtra set up the Mangrove Cell to protect and conserve the mangrove ecosystem of the State. Despite initial problems like staff shortage and financial constraints, the Mangrove Cell successfully protected the State's mangrove forests, which led to an increase in the Mangrove cover of the State (from 186 sq. km in 2013 to 320 sq. km in 2019).

The Mangrove Cell also partnered with external agencies such as UNDP-GEF and GIZ to implement various Mangrove and marine conservation activities in coastal Maharashtra (from 2012-13 to 2017-18). To ensure the sustainability of its Mangrove protection efforts and marine biodiversity conservation initiatives (started under the UNDP-GEF and GIZ projects), the Mangrove Cell created the 'Mangrove and Marine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation of Maharashtra' (also known as Mangrove Foundation). The Mangrove Foundation was set up in 2015 with a corpus of around USD 15 million that has increased to USD 70 million in 2020-21. From the interest generated on its corpus, the Mangrove Foundation finances the conservation of the State's Mangroves, two Marine Protected Areas and a host of marine conservation programmes. 

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Date added: 31/08/21