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India, B'desh jointly working to preserve Sunderbans:Javadekar

Press Trust of India  |  Paris 

India and Bangladesh are working together to come out with a plan for the joint management of ecosystems to preserve Sunderbans, the world's largest mangrove forest which is facing threat from rising sea level and climate change.

"Bangladesh and India are working on a joint management of the ecosystem in Sundarbans to preserve it and make it a better place. A joint management plan will soon be operationalised," Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today said during one of the sessions at the Indian pavilion which was also attended by Bangladesh Environment Minister Mansoor Anwar.

Anwar also appreciated the bilateral cooperation between India and Bangladesh especially with respect to the shared mangroves of Sundarbans.

Javaekar also released 'India State of Forest Report 2015' and a booklet on 'Low Carbon Lifestyle'.

"The increase in the carbon stock is an assurance to the negotiators at COP 21 that India remains committed to increase the carbon sink. This is also in line with our INDC targets that envisages creation of additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3.0 billion tonnes of CO2," he said.

The Report which was earlier released in India is the 14th in the series and is based on interpretation of LISS III sensor data of indigenous Resource sat - II satellite.

The satellite data interpretation is followed by extensive and rigorous ground truthing.

"We have 17 per cent of the world's human and cattle population. Both require food water and land. We have only 2.5 per cent land. And still our forest cover is increasing. We have increased our forest cover by 5,000 sq kms.

"Our carbon stock is at 7 billion tonnes now. It is a remarkable achievement. With INDCs, we will reach 10 billion tonnes of cabon stock. It is a huge contribution from India," he said.

In another session held at the pavilion, Javadekar said that India's integrated coastal management is "critical" to combat climate change and the government's mandate is to preserve the marine ecology and build resilience on the coastlines.

"India's integrated coastal management is critical to combating climate change. Under a USD 220 million project, we mapped every inch of India's coastal areas and integral ecosystems along with coastlines with help from Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM).

"Our mandate is to preserve marine ecology and to build resilience on our coastlines because we have suffered tsunamis and cyclones on our coast. But now, with alerts and scientific systems we can prevent damages to life and property to a minimum," he said.

Elaborating the need for integrated coastal management, Environment Secretary Ashok Lavasa said, the government has taken a number of initiatives to see that India's coasts are preserved and development takes place in a regulated and sustainable manner.

"India is one of the first countries to have a law to regulate the coastal zones. We have also mapped the entire coastline of India.

"As with the rest of the world our coasts have proved to be an extremely potent asset for economic development and the effort is that as we preserve our bio diversity, we have to ensure that the people living in and around the coasts also develop in a sustainable fashion, utilising the asset that exists," he said.

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First Published: Thu, December 10 2015. 01:22 IST