Campaign To Rewild Mangroves for a Sustainable Future

Campaign To Rewild Mangroves for a Sustainable Future

Mphasis F1 Foundation in collaboration with United Way Bengaluru (UWBe), has launched an initiative on World Wetlands Day, February 2, 2024, dedicated to the restoration of mangroves. This initiative has been launched at Pulicat or Pazhaverkadu (in Tamil, which translates to 'jungle of roots', implying the presence of Mangrove forests in the entire area), a coastal town on the outskirts of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The Pulicat coastline spans 720 sq. km and is India's second-biggest brackish water body. The lake's depth has reduced from 3.8m to 2m due to the large-scale destruction of the mangrove vegetation due to human-caused and factors. Currently, the area is left with patches of mangrove vegetation; hence these efforts are aimed at its restoration.

Often overlooked yet critically important, mangroves play a pivotal role in coastal biodiversity, climate resilience, and community well-being. Unfortunately, mangroves are under threat, with a loss of 35% between 1996-2000, as suggested by various reports. The State of the World's Mangrove 2022 report reveals that only 147,000 km2 of mangroves remain globally. These salt-tolerant trees provide a habitat for diverse marine and terrestrial species and offer numerous environmental and community benefits. Their dense root systems act as a natural buffer against extreme weather events, stabilize shorelines, and are highly effective carbon sinks, absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide, about 5 times higher than that of tropical upland forests.

"Mphasis has been an active advocate for environmental conservation and, collaboratively with United Way Bengaluru, has implemented many environmental initiatives. As our commitment to environmental preservation deepens, it becomes increasingly apparent the pivotal role mangroves play in carbon sequestration, coastal protection, and habitat preservation. The positive outcomes of this initiative will have a far-reaching impact, contributing to endeavors aimed at addressing climate change and the overarching biodiversity crisis," said Ayaskant Sarangi, CHRO, Mphasis.
Rajesh Krishnan, CEO of United Way Bengaluru, said, "It is essential to maintain the momentum and keep growing our efforts. We are glad to receive support from our CSR partner, Mphasis, and the Gram Panchayat."

Alongside its environmental benefits of protecting and restoring these vital ecosystems, the campaign will aid the local economy by enhancing the production of shrimp and fish species, which are common sources of livelihood for the people in the region. As part of UWB‘s broader initiative, it aims to restore approximately one million mangroves in the region by 2027.

Together, Mphasis and United Way Bengaluru have driven several environmental initiatives, including the revival of Dommandandra Lake spread across 39 acres in Bengaluru under the 'Wake the Lake' Campaign to create a one-time storage capacity of 18.72 Cr litres impacting catchment area of 163 hectares. Similarly constructing 1300 percolation wells as part of the 'One Billion Drops' campaign enabled the efficient harvesting of rainwater, offering the potential to conserve 166 million litres with each filling. Additionally, the foundation for a thriving forest has been established at Doddasaggere Botanical Garden in Tumkur, Karnataka, comprising 100,000 tree saplings of diverse species. This initiative holds the capacity to sequestrate 21L kilograms of CO2 annually.