The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem is annually celebrated on 26 July to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems as “a unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem” and to promote solutions for their sustainable management, conservation and uses.
- The day is also known as World Mangrove Day.
i.On 6 November 2015, at the 38th session of the General Conference, UNESCO passed the resolution 38C/66 and officially declared that 26 July of every year to be celebrated as the International Day of the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem. UNESCO established the day in response to the request of Ecuador.
- The first World Mangrove Day was officially observed on 26 July 2016.
ii.The date was also chosen to commemorate Greenpeace activist Hayhow Daniel Nanoto, who passed away in 1998 during a massive protest to re-establish the mangrove wetlands in Muisne, Ecuador.
i.Mangroves are coastal trees and shrubs that grow in tidal zones. They are essential to the health of coastal ecosystems and play an important role in keeping beaches clean.
ii.Mangroves also provide food and shelter for many fish, birds, and other animals.
iii.Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA) was formed to bring together NGOs, governments, industries, and local communities to stop mangrove degradation. It aimed to increase mangrove cover by 20% by 2030.
According to the Forest Survey Report 2021-
i.Total mangrove cover in India is 4,992 sq km.
ii.An increase of 17 sq Km in mangrove cover has been observed as compared to the previous assessment of 2019.
- Top three states showing mangrove cover increase are Odisha (8 sq km) followed by Maharashtra (4 sq km) and Karnataka (3 sq km).
- West Bengal has around 42% of India’s mangrove cover, the highest percentage of area under the total Mangrove cover of India.
- Sundarbans in West Bengal is known for its mangrove forest region. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Headquarters- Paris, France