Mangrove forest near Manora felled

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KARACHI: Mangrove forest spread on 30 acres of area in Kakapir, near Manora have been indiscriminately felled to make way for construction and responsible officials have not taken action to halt this process, the World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan (WWF-P) revealed in a briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change.

The committee members recently visited the WWF-P Wetland Centre located at Hawke’s Bay. Apart from the committee chairperson, Senator Seemee Ezdi, the delegation included Senator Muhammad Humayun Mohmand, Senator Khalida Ateeb, Senator Abida Muhammad Azeem, and Senator Keshubai.

During their visit, the committee members were given a comprehensive briefing by WWF-P Director Hammad Naqi Khan and Chief Conservator of Forests Riaz Ahmed Wagan on the mangrove forests.

The proliferation of population in coastal areas has led to the unfortunate trend of mangrove deforestation, the committee members were informed. A significant concern is the ongoing destruction in Kakapir, near Manora, where 30 acres of mangrove cover have been depleted to make way for residential developments and housing societies.

This alarming situation was brought to the attention of the Sindh’s chief secretary; however, no committee has been convened to address the issue. The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Sindh Revenue Board have remained passive bystanders on this matter.

Despite efforts to replant mangroves, with an expansion of 107 hectares since 2010, the sea embankment remains under serious threat. Urgent measures, including the increased police presence, are required to combat this destruction.

Senator Seemee Ezdi expressed her concerns to the media, highlighting the adverse impact of mangrove deforestation for residential settlements in various regions of Sindh, including Kakapir. She emphasised that one acre of mangroves can generate significant revenue, approximately $56,000 in terms of carbon credits, through investments in various sectors. The committee intends to forward recommendations on this issue to the federal government.

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