On World Mangrove Day 2017, governments from tropical regions rich in mangrove habitat issued statements recognizing the important role these forests play in daily life and nature.
Pakistan has the largest chunk of arid climate mangroves, mostly occurring in the Indus Delta in the province of Sindh and a few small isolated patches along the coast of Balochistan province. The mangrove wetlands in the Indus Delta are the ultimate destination for thousands of migratory birds that voyage along the “Indus Flyway”, one of the seven globally important birds migratory routes. Mangroves in Pakistan are a source of livelihood for thousands of the dependent coastal communities.
The Indus Delta mangroves, originally spread over 600,000 hectares, have been seriously degraded over the last 50 years as a result of hydrological changes, coastal developments and pollution. Considering the importance of the mangrove ecosystem, the Sindh Forest Department has already initiated large-scale mangrove restoration in the Indus Delta.
Pakistan is also committed to the CBD Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and under its target-11 is committed to bring 10% of its marine and coastal areas under protected areas network. In this regard I am happy to state that Astola Island has been notified as Pakistan’s first Marine Protected Area. Being one of MFF member countries, the Government of Pakistan believes that the new Global Mangrove Alliance (GMA) will help forge new partnerships and responses to support conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystems at the global level as a potential opportunity to address the challenges of climate change and sustain livelihoods of the dependent populations.
Mr. Zahid Hamid
Federal Minister of Climate Change, Pakistan