Conservation and Restoration

The Canopy Project Sundarbans

Project Summary

The Canopy Project – Mangroves in The Sundarbans

Global opportunities to plant mangroves at scale are limited, but the ROI is significant. The slow degradation of The Sundarbans ecosystem, now being hastened by global warming, has resulted in huge losses of mangrove cover. In addition to the number of mangroves planted and maintained, this project supports significant holistic impacts on the community – from providing natural resilience to a disaster prone region, biodiversity conservation, economic stimulus for local workers, and potential for carbon sequestration at scale, up to 10x more than terrestrial forests.

Planting Location Sundarbans India

Region

The Sundarbans, India

The Sundarbans riverine estuaries, a UN world heritage site and a haven for diverse flora and fauna, is endangered by a rising sea level, and frequent cyclones and storms are threatening the lives of the indigenous population and biodiversity that call these beautiful islands their home. The Indian part of Sundarbans ecosystem consists of 102 islands, 54 of which are inhabited and the other 48 forested. The inhabited islands are protected by a centuries old system of ring embankments extending for over 3500 km in length. With 4.5 Million people living in the Sundarbans, this project will ultimately save lives. 

Species

Plantation efforts will be focused mainly on Avicennia alba (Black mangrove Avicennia) which thrives at lower substrate level and withstands 5.5 hours of saline water submergence. Along the upper, more soil stabilized sites, Sonneratia apetala and other species will be planted. Both species have lateral roots, the baffle action of these mangrove roots and trunks will help substantially lower tidal currents.

Community Leader Involvement

In addition to trained project monitors and local scientists, the project has the guidance and support of local and national forestry officials, village councils, local populations, and students. Further, the project will contribute to the continuing education of villagers about the benefits of the mangroves and their impacts on fisheries and agriculture in order to help ensure high survivability and long term success.

Planting Period

March to November 2022

Status: Active

image credit: NASA

Project Contributions

Climate Change Adaptation
Community & Economic Benefits
Biodiversity Conservation
Carbon Sequestration

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