India joins MAC, at 27th session of COP27 in Egypt
India has joined the Mangrove Alliance for Climate, MAC, at the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. After joining the alliance, India called for integration of mangroves conservation with the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) programmes for carbon sequestering. Speaking at the launch of MAC, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said, India sees the tremendous potential mangroves have for mitigation of growing GHG concentration in the atmosphere. He said studies have shown that mangrove forests can absorb four to five times more carbon emissions than landed tropical forests.
MAC is an intergovernmental alliance that seeks to expand and hasten the progress towards conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystems. India is among the first five countries to join the MAC, including Australia, Japan, Spain, and Sri Lanka.
The alliance will raise global awareness about the role of mangroves as a nature-based climate change solution. It will ensure the rehabilitation of mangrove forests on a global level. Mangroves are small trees and shrubs which grow along the coastlines thrive in salty water and form unique forests on the edge of land and the sea. Mangrove ecosystems are among the most productive and ecologically important ecosystems in the world. They provide significant climate change mitigation and adaptation co-benefits since they are capable of storing carbon up to 400 percent faster than land-based tropical rainforests. They protect coastal regions from rising sea levels, erosion, and storm surges and provide breeding grounds for marine biodiversity. Around 80 percent of the global fish population rely on these ecosystems for their survival.India contributes to nearly half of the total mangrove cover in South Asia and West Bengal, the home to Sundarbans, has the highest percentage of mangrove cover in India. Spread over India and Bangladesh the Sundarbans are also the single largest mangrove forest in the world. Gujarat and Andaman, and Nicobar islands, Maharashtra, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Goa, and Kerala too have mangrove forests.
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