Safeguarding mangroves is of utmost importance

18 April,2024 06:51 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  The Editorial

This is a distressingly familiar pattern where mangroves are deviously obliterated

Satellite images from 2009, 2018 and 2024 reveal illegal reclamation expanding at Versova village

Attempts to illegally reclaim marshland near Versova village by dumping debris, is coming at the cost of mangroves.

Several individuals stated in a report that they have witnessed debris dumbing on the mangrove patch to pave the way for new structures. This is a distressingly familiar pattern where mangroves are deviously obliterated.

An environmentalist also visited the location to see the dumping himself. He has emailed different authorities to seek their intervention in the matter. First and foremost, debris must be removed from mangrove land. Signboards must be put up at such spots to indicate that those dumping debris be prosecuted and those responsible. Also, one must ensure there is good, sharp surveillance around the site so that those responsible can be found and penalised.

We see a great push towards environmental initiatives. Citizens, activists are definitely more aware about climate change and while not all, but certainly more people are putting in effort to address green concerns. The label ‘green warrior' has emerged from this new consciousness. Yet, through some changes and a definite uptick in awareness we do witness that the mangrove problems continue to fester.

While citizens and activists can be vigilantes or incidentally, just the first to spot that something is not quite right on a green patch or on a mangrove site. Yet, they have their limitations. They can complain and then it is up to the local leadership or those in charge to take action if complaints are valid.

Let us make mangrove safeguarding a very vital part of the save-the- environment landscape. Sporadic, half-hearted attempts, a deliberate blind eye, dismissive attitude and even procrastination are detrimental and unhelpful. Proactive protection should be the way forward.

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