Community-based mangrove restoration across several villages contributed to disaster risk reduction and protected key habitats for aquatic and terrestrial species.
Gujarat state boasts the largest mangrove habitat on the western coast of India. However, it has been severely diminished and degraded by human and natural causes. A weakened mangrove ecosystem not only threatens biodiversity but reduces natural protection against cyclones and storm surges, whose impacts are expected to worsen as a result of climate change. In response, facilitated by the Gujarat State Forest Department and Gujarat Ecology Commission, community-based mangrove restoration was adopted across several villages along the Gulf of Kutch region in Gujarat. The project promoted a multi-stakeholder model involving private and public sector partners and placed a particular emphasis on community-based implementation.
Although not quantified or reported, it is likely that the type and scale of afforestation reported in the region will contribute to climate change mitigation.
73.6% of households surveyed reported that mangrove reforestation had helped reduce the negative impacts of cyclones. 50% of households also reported a reduction in crop damage and destruction due to the wind shelter provided by restored mangrove cover.
Reforestation across participating villages in Gujarat resulted in a total of 8,326 hectares of new mangrove cover. Although not quantified or reported, this degree of replanting will likely contribute to restoring biodiversity through the provision of habitats for aquatic and terrestrial species.
As a result of mangrove planting, local economies reported a 31.5% increase in income from fisheries. On average, remuneration from mangrove planting work contributed 8,735 Indian rupees to participating households.