Restoring mangroves and coastal biodiversity of the Pandiyar estuary
Duration of the partnership
The mangroves of the Pandiyar and Punnakayal estuaries, on the South Coast of Tamil Nadu State, India, play a key role in climate change mitigation in the region: Carbon sequestration, cyclone impact mitigation, soil erosion reduction, groundwater preservation… However, these mangroves, many of whose species are on the IUCN red list, are disappearing, even though they are an ecosystem that is a source of many environmental and economic services for village communities.
This progressive degradation is due to a combination of anthropogenic pressures such as unsustainable aquaculture, shift in land use for subsistence agriculture. Pollution of the waters of the estuaries by waste and toxic liquids has contributed to the degradation of the area. All these factors have destroyed between 60 and 70% of the mangroves in 50 years.
It is in this context that the SEEDS Trust developed a pilot project of mangrove regeneration on 20 ha in the Pandiyar estuary, in 2008 with the aim of developing a project methodology, specific to the local environment, to be replicated on other estuaries of the State of Tamil Nadu.
With a first partnership with the Maisons du Monde Foundation between 2019 and 2021, SEEDS Trust has implemented various actions to promote the regeneration of the mangrove ecosystem in Pandiyar estuary.
A look back at the results of the main actions:
The partnership with the MDM Foundation has been renewed for a new three-year cycle. With this renewed partnership, the SEEDS Trust team plans to replicate the project methodology on a larger scale in the Punnakayal estuary, thus reaching more communities.
The achievement goals are as follows for 2022-2024:
Direct beneficiaries are the agricultural and fishing communities of the 10 villages participating in the project, i.e., approximately 15,000 individuals of which 60% are women and children. Approximately 5,000 families living on the shores of the estuarine wetland will also be direct beneficiaries.
Women and children have a central place in the project: the former with the aim of raising their skills and addressing the issue of the place of women in Indian society, the latter with the aim of raising environmental awareness through awareness activities to address the urgent problems of water pollution in the estuaries.