ADB’s support helping restore Pakistan’s ecosystem

57
Islamabad

Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s support worth of $36 million to the Sindh Coastal Community Development Project is making a positive impact in restoring the ecosystem of Pakistan’s coastal areas and enabling communities to fight poverty and climate change.

According to a short documentary issued by the ADB, it provided $36 million to the Sindh Coastal Community Development Project to reduce poverty in coastal communities and protect the fragile mangrove ecosystem of the Indus Delta coastline which was now yielding positive results.

“Pakistan’s Indus Delta coastline hosts a rich mangrove ecosystem on which coastal communities depend for their well-being.

Uncontrolled and unsustainable harvesting of mangroves in the past, saltwater intrusion, and rising sea levels and other factors threaten the survival of the mangroves,” the ADB said.

The documentary said the villagers under the project teamed up with the Sindh Forest Department in 2013 to plant some 800,000 mangroves saplings along the creeks in a single day, a move recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.

The Forest Department and local communities have since planted many more mangroves.

The mangroves have a huge impact on Pakistan’s coastal communities as they are part of the natural habitat of fish and other aquatic life that local communities depend on.

They act as a natural defense against saltwater intrusion and rising sea levels but reduced freshwater supply and over harvesting has depleted the mangrove forests.

This has threatened the livelihood of nearby fishing villages including in Thatta and Badin, two of the poorest districts in Sindh, the documentary added. Puppi, a resident of Keti Bandar said “Here we used to have a big village where we are standing which was washed away by the river.

To avoid river storms we use different methods, we try to build hurdles to avoid water, but the water is getting closer.”

With ADB’s help, villagers teamed up with the Sindh Forest Department in 2013 to plant some 800,000 mangroves along the creeks in a single day, a move recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. Eight years later, locals are seeing the full impact of this investment.—APP