Nurturing Young Saplings
1. To restore 4.5 ha of mangrove forest in Sandspit area.
2. To raise awareness among school children on the importance and conservation of mangroves ecosystem through various interventions.
The project area is located 18 km southwest of Karachi City, near Sandspit Beach and has shallow tidal lagoons, inter-tidal mudflats, saltpans and about 400 ha of mangrove swamps. The western part is a ten-kilometer long open sandy beach. The Lyari River feeds the backwaters from the eastern side and the seawater enters from the south as well as from the Karachi harbor. The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Manora Cantonment Board own the major portion of the area along with the Karachi City District Government, which manages some part of the beach. It is one of the prime recreational sites for the citizens of Karachi, with annually an estimated 150,000 visitors coming to the area. The project was aimed at increasing the mangrove forest cover at selected, previously depleted areas where cutting of mangroves by the local communities is common to fulfill their fuel wood requirements. Increasing the mangrove cover is aimed to restore the ecosystem and improve the habitat for local and migratory birds, crabs and other fauna, thereby improving biodiversity and therefore the availability of livelihood resources to the local community, as well as enabling ecotourism. The other project objective was to enhance the awareness of school children on the importance of a mangrove ecosystem and to advocate for its sustainable use.
The target beneficiaries are local fishing communities, school children and their families as well as local and international visitors to the Sandspit area.
1. Establishment of Mangrove (Avicennia Marina) Nursery of 5000 saplings.
2. Mangrove plantation at an identified, degraded area of 4.5 ha.
3. Mangrove plantation with awareness raising of 200 school children.
4. Celebrate significant environmental Days at the Wetland Centre to promote conservation awareness among school children.
1. A mangrove (Avicenna marina) nursery was established.
2. 5000 mangrove saplings (Avicenna marina) were planted in identified area.
3. Awareness raising events involved 100 school children and 100 university students.
4. World Wetland Day 2012 and World Earth Day 2012 were celebrated at the Wetland Centre, Sandspit with the participation of 212 students.
The implementation of the project activities within the given timeframe were very challenging due to the unforeseen political tensions in Karachi.
Awareness was raised through presentations and speeches from experts, posters and quiz competition and tableaus.
The project timeframe was initially planned to be one year and was subsequently reduced to 8 months, whereas the activities planned remained for one year. Better planning must be done to avoid such inconsistencies. Frequent visits need to be conducted by the MFF team for improved monitoring and resolving field level issues and queries on time. Other factors for e.g political instability are to be considered while developing the timelines for project activities.