Pakistan is blessed with rich and diverse natural resources. One of them is the mangrove ecosystem which develops well along the muddy to sandy coast. In term of area Pakistan has 0.6 million hectares of mangrove ecosystem, probably the tenth largest in the world. They are distributed along the coast of Sindh and Baluchistan. The largest concentration, approximately 95%, is found in Sindh Province.
For many years in the past these forests remained neglected and their potential was overlooked. Due importance was given with the recognition of the economic value of the mangrove ecosystem to the coastal zone and its significance in soil conservation, fuel, fodder, coastal fisheries, etc. Rehabilitation of mangroves has started very recently, being limited to experimental and small-scale plantations of indigenous and exotic species. So far, 1000 hectares of blank areas have been restocked with Avicennia marina, Ceriops tagal and Rhizophora mucronata throughout the Indus Delta. These species have given encouraging results and more areas are expected to be rehabilitated in the coming years.
Bilateral and regional cooperation, especially in the UNDP/UNESCO Regional Project, have played an important role in enhancing research and planting capabilities among the young Pakistani scientists. A number of schemes for the rehabilitation of mangroves are in the pipeline and will soon be executed in the Indus Delta. Among them for example:
Environmental protection and management project.
Mangrove plantation for rehabilitation of Korangi-Phitti creek system.
Development of mangrove forests in the Indus Delta.
The Department of Forestry and Fisheries is responsible for the management of mangrove forests in Pakistan. These forests were declared ‘protected forests’ in 1958 under the Pakistan Forest Act of 1927, and water channels were declared ‘wildlife sanctuaries’ in 1977 under the Sind Wildlife Protection Ordinace of 1972. The management of this ecosystem is very difficult and problematic due to the inaccessibility of most of the areas and the fishing and grazing rights of the local population. From time immemorial the camels have grazed these forests and this causes serious damage. By far the most important cause of their deterioration in the Indus Delta is the reduction in volume of fluvial discharge due to the diversion of the river Indus into an irrigation system. These forests are being managed under the ‘Working Plan of Mangrove Forests of Indus Delta from 1985-86 to 2004-05’.
The present paper reviews the re-afforestation and management practices of mangroves in Pakistan.
- mangrove rehabilitation
- Indus Delta
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Qureshi, M.T. (1993). Rehabilitation and management of mangrove forests of Pakistan. In: Lieth, H., Al Masoom, A.A. (eds) Towards the rational use of high salinity tolerant plants. Tasks for vegetation science, vol 27. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-1858-3_8
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