Distribution of "Insulated Fish Catch Storage Boxes, Chandi village © SHADOW/MFF
Community-based practices and capacities for sustainable management of mangroves ecosystem enhanced in three coastal villages of Kalmat union council, District Gwadar
Kalmat Hor is one of the most important areas of Mangroves ecosystem along the Balochistan coast. It is located at a distance of 315 km from Karachi & 225 Kms from Gwadar town. The total area of Kalmat Hor is 10,216 ha. The mangrove cover at Kalmat Hor is about 526 ha, wherein dense mangrove cover is about 12 ha (2.3%), medium mangrove cover is about 149ha (28.3%), sparse mangrove cover is about 365 ha (69.4%). (WWF-Pakistan, GIS Lab, Lahore).
It not only supports the mangroves and the associated biodiversity along the coast, but also accommodates the human communities living in and around it. Due to lack of alternate livelihood opportunities, these communities are dependent upon mangrove forests of Kalmat lagoon for a number of products ranging from fodder and fuel wood to the preparation of agricultural implements. Besides an indirect role of these mangrove forests also pops up in serving as breeding areas for prawns and a number of other fish species, which are harvested and marketed by the local community members.
Two main sources of livelihood in the area are fishing and livestock rearing. However, despite devotion and day- night struggle these communities cannot get due share out of their hard work. This all is because of unawareness regarding importance of mangrove forests, lack of livelihood resources and use of modern technology for fishing and storage of harvested fishes which emerges into high post-harvest losses of produces and ultimately the socio-economic status of the fishermen is declining day by day.
On the other hand this socio-economic status increase the pressure on mangrove forests, as communities uses mangroves as a firewood and fodder for their livestock, particularly for camels. Since the only one source of fodder is mangrove forest locate close to the community thus camel-fisher utilizes mangroves for grazing. Since there is no proper grazing mechanism in place presently thus many small and week plants are endanger. Community is unaware of the significant of the mangrove to ecosystem as well as their support to good shrimp produce thus they are unable to develop and adopt mangroves. This increasing pressure created serious threats to the mangroves and resultantly the production of shrimps in the lagoon.
The major thrust of project is to create awareness among local communities regarding role of mangrove forests in sustenance of their livelihood and shall improve their livelihood. It aimed at reducing pressure on mangroves ecosystem through introduction of rotational grazing system, provision of latest fishing tools to reduce post-harvest losses in order to increase the income of communities in Kalmat Hor.
The project was designed to improve the livelihood of the resident communities on one hand and to link it with conservation of mangrove forests on the other.
The target beneficiary for this project will be the fishermen community of the Kalmat hor which is residing in five major fishermen settlements i.e. Chandi, Guresunt, Makola, Kawari and Sirki.
Two articles on the importance of mangrove forest were developed in local Balochi language which has been published for creating awareness among general people of the area.
Major perturbation (climatic change/sea level rise/surface temperature variability) and change to the ecological balance of established communities due to ecological ineptitude would destabilize species diversity, which would reduce its efficiency in the flow of energy within the mangrove ecosystem.
The project would result in sensitizing coastal communities both genders, and decision makers to integrate the mangrove into the planning process.
The project would address poverty as the cross-cutting issue and will contribute to additional income for the target beneficiaries through the use of improved fish catch handling tools.
Information materials will be developed and disseminated in local language.
The reluctant attitude of the community was one of the major challenges to the project team. However, their fears were removed through initial meetings by the SHADOW chairperson, Mrs. Tahira Khurshid who assured them that their land right will not be disturbed. Belonging to the same culture and communicating with them in local language resulted in convincing the community that an organization led by a lady would do something good for them. Meetings were also held with village head and frequent community mobilizations meetings helped in satisfying community concerns.
Government department should readily extend their support to the projects designed by CSOs.
District Gwadar, Baluchistan, Pakistan.
1st Oct 2014 to 30th Jun 2015
Balochistan Wildlife & Forest Department (BFWD)
Mr. Gulzar Ahmed Gichki
Girls School Ward, Opposite Old Radio Pakistan Building, Gwadar, Baluchistan
Tel.: 0321-5987417, 0332-3166234
E-mail : email@example.com