Mangroves are the most productive ecosystems comprising of a diverse group of salt tolerant plant communities. They are highly specialized plants exhibiting a variety of adoptions in morphology, anatomy and physiology. Mangroves provide a wide range of ecological services and economic benefits to mankind. The most important ecological service being the stabilization and protection of our coastlines from cyclones, tidal waves and erosion. Mangroves are the home to a variety of marine flora and fauna. They sustain vast fishery resources that provide livelihood to millions of fishermen in India. Also, they are an important source of fuel wood, timber, fodder and a variety of non-wood forest produce like medicines, honey, tannins etc. According to the recent report of Forest Survey of India, India has mangrove cover spread over an area of 4740 sq. km, which is nearly three percent of world's mangrove vegetation.
The first National level seminar on 'Conservation, restoration and sustainable management of mangrove forests in India' was organized by Institute of Wood Science & Technology (ICFRE) during 2004 at the port city of Visakhapatnam, with the objective of providing a platform for exchange of ideas and experience sharing on recent developments in techniques relating to conservation, restoration and management of this fragile ecosystem, leading to formulation of some action plans. Since then twelve years have passed and a lot of progress have been observed especially in the science and technology front. According to the India State of Forest Report (2015) the total area under mangroves stands at 4740 sq.km , which is 279 sq. km. more than the 2003 assessment. Though this increase in mangrove cover may not seem significant, it is a good news to the scientific community and the management professionals engaged in research, management and restoration of this valuable ecosystem. It has become imperative for the scientific community and the management professionals to meet again to exchange their ideas and experiences on conservation, restoration and sustainable management of mangroves. With this in background, it is proposed to organize the 2ndNational level seminar on 'Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Management of Mangrove Forests in India' at the Centre for Mangroves and Coastal Ecology(CMCE), Visakhapatnam from 15 to 17th of June 2016. The primary objective is to provide a platform for the Foresters, Scientists, Academia, NGOs and the local communities to deliberate on the below given themes and bringing the mangrove knowledge base up-to-date.
About Centre for Mangroves and Coastal Ecology
The erstwhile ‘Wood Biodegradation Centre’ functioned as a division of Institute of Wood Science and Technology, Bangalore with primary focus on research related to protecting integrity of wood used in various craft, mechanized vessels, boats, trawlers and stationary structures from a host of organisms called foulers and wood borers. Recently, the Centre was reoriented as “Centre for Mangroves and Coastal Ecology (CMCE)” and put under the jurisdiction of Institute of Forest Biodiversity, Hyderabad. Uniquely located in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam, the Centre is mandated to carry out research on the ecology and biology of mangroves and other coastal ecosystems of India. Incidentally, the Centre had taken initiative in organizing the first National level seminar on ‘Conservation, restoration and sustainable management of mangrove forests in India’, supported by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, way back in 2004.
About Institute of Forest Biodiversity, Hyderabad
The Institute of Forest Biodiversity was established during December 2012, by way of upgradation of the erstwhile Forest Research Centre, Hyderabad. The Institute is mandated to carry out research on forest biodiversity of Telengana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, with an emphasis on the forest biodiversity of Eastern Ghats. The Institute is located at Dulapally, which is 23 km away from Secunderabad Railway station and 65 km away from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Shamsabad. Spread over an area of one hundred acres, the Institute has the necessary infrastructure viz., administrative block, three laboratories (molecular genetics, tissue culture and soil science), library, field trial areas (comprising germplasm banks, seedling seed orchards and agroforestry models), nursery area (complete with shade houses and mist chamber) to take up research and development projects on the biodiversity.
About Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun
Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), an apex body in the National forestry research system, has been undertaking the holistic development of forestry research through need based planning, promoting and conducting and coordinating research, education and extension covering all aspects of forestry. The Council deals with the solution based forestry research in tune with the emerging issues in the sector, including global concerns such as climate change, conservation of biological diversity, combating desertification and sustainable management and development of resources. Topical research by the Council enhances public confidence in the ability of forest managers and researchers to successfully handle challenges related to natural resource management. Following are the objectives of ICFRE.
ICFRE has nine Regional Research Institutes and five Research Centres located in different bio-geographical regions of the country to cater to the forestry research needs of the nation. The regional research Institutes are located at Jodhpur, Dehradun, Shimla, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Ranchi, Bangalore, Jorhat and Jabalpur, and the Centres are located at Aizawl, Agartala, Allahabad,Chhindwara and Visakhapatnam.