How mangroves along Odisha coasts can reduce cyclone impact | Bhubaneswar News

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BERHAMPUR: Several academicians on Tuesday stressed on the need to develop mangroves along the state’s coast, particularly off Ganjam, to minimize the destruction caused by cyclonic storms that often hit the state.
“Ganjam, one of the coastal districts of the state, is more vulnerable to cyclones because of the absence of green cover like a mangrove forest along its 60km-long coast,” said Sailabala Padhy, former director of the Centre for Environment Studies (CES).
She was addressing a workshop on ‘Climate Change – Present Scenario’ organized by the climate cell of the state’s forest and environment department in association with the Centre’s department of science and technology.
In 1999, when the Super Cyclone hit the state, mangroves forests along Kendrapada’s coast significantly reduced the number of deaths there. “The mangroves also reduced livestock loss and property damage then. The death toll would have been more if there were no mangroves in the villages of Kendrapada,” Padhy said.
Referring to Fani, Padhy said the storm claimed more than 60 lives and caused massive damage to infrastructure in the coastal districts and in Bhubaneswar.
Shankar Narayan Bez, a botanist and convener of the Eco Club in Ganjam, said the trail of destruction caused by Cyclone Phailin in Ganjam district would have been lesser if there were mangroves along the district’s coast. “Climate change gives rise to cyclones in the coastal regions,” the convener added.
“The risk of climate change not only affects the environment but several other sectors,” said Ashish Kumar Behera, the divisional forest officer (DFO), Berhampur.
The DFO added that 23 lakh samplings will be planted in the district this year under various schemes of the government.
Massive plantation and reduction of vehicle and plastic use can help tackle climate change, academician Sudhir Rout said. Besides, district education officer Sanatan Panda and project director of the Odisha Watershed Development Mission, Subhendu Das, also addressed the workshop.

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