*PAK NAVY LAUNCHES MANGROVES PLANTATION CAMPAIGN 2021*
Karachi: Pakistan Navy has launched Mangroves Plantation Campaign in the Coastal Areas of Sindh and Balochistan provinces. Commander Coast, Vice Admiral Zahid Ilyas graced the occasion as Chief Guest and inaugurated Pakistan Navy Mangroves Plantation Campaign 2021 by planting mangrove sapling at Port Bin Qasim AOR.
Mangroves are vital to coastal ecosystem, prevention of sea intrusion and sustainment of marine life. Being a major stakeholder of the maritime domain and realizing the importance of mangroves for marine life, Pakistan Navy has taken a major initiative to revive mangrove forests all along the coast. Realizing the importance of mangroves forests in combating pollution, countering coastal erosion and providing a number of economic and financial opportunities to coastal communities, Mangroves Plantation Campaign is part of PN environmental protection program under which Pakistan Navy has planted 07 million mangroves from Shah Bandar to Jiwani with the collaboration of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Sindh and Balochistan Forest departments.
On this occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff in his message highlighted the challenges of sustainability and existence mangroves forests are facing. He emphasized that covered area of mangroves forests has decreased significantly over the period due various factors such as reduction in fresh water supply, marine pollution, coastal erosion, mangroves cutting etc. Therefore, requirement of new plantation as well as preservation/ protection of existing mangroves forests needs to be undertaken. Naval Chief in his message underscored the significance of PN Mangroves Plantation Campaign to achieve the goal of developing ‘Green Coastal Belt’. He urged that the plantation campaign will have wide reaching and positive outcomes through sustainable efforts. Improving the health of the environment will ultimately contribute to reducing the risk of local and national disasters through better flood management and protection, sustainable livelihood, ensuring food security, impacts of climate change and raising sea levels.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the mangrove plantation ceremony was attended by limited number of officials from Sindh and Balochistan Forest Departments and reps of IUCN.