A book authored by scientists from the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in Chennai, titled Biodiversity and Importance of Mangrove Ecosystem, was released yesterday by Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, at the MSSRF premises. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the mangrove ecosystem in India. It is available for young readers in three languages – English, Tamil, and Telugu – and can be downloaded from the MSSRF website (www.mssrf.org). The minister recognised the need to make such resources accessible in Indian languages for the ordinary person. He visited the MSSRF office and interacted with the scientists.
Biodiversity and Importance of Mangrove Ecosystem is pictorial with simple descriptions to explain mangrove species across India, medicinal uses of mangroves, and several wildlife creatures that thrive in the ecosystem. It showcases biodiversity benefits to the environment, and graphic representations of how mangroves help in dealing with climate change.
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, chairperson, MSSRF, said: “MSSRF’s work on coastal systems has focused on mangrove conservation through community participation. Unless the local community has an economic stake in the local ecology, conservation will not be sustainable. Mangroves ecosystems are complex and provide many opportunities for livelihoods, apart from protecting coastal communities and sequestering carbon.”
R. Ramasubramanian, senior fellow, Coastal Systems Research, said: “The book is intended to create awareness among the school-going children so that they may have a better understanding about the mangrove ecosystem and its importance to humankind. The book provides an overview of mangrove distribution in India as well as in other parts of the world, flora and faunal diversity, impacts of pollution, role in reducing the disasters like cyclones, economic values, etc. MSSRF is working along the east-coast of India, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh for mangrove restoration, and that is why we have published the book in Tamil and Telugu as well. We intend to translate in more Indian languages going forward.”