Eco-Restoration Model Project & Dolphin Rescue Centre to come up in City
Mangaluru: Briefing the media persons during the Meet The Press programme held at Mangaluru Press Club, Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF), Mangaluru division Dinesh Kumar Y K said, “The eco-restoration model project will be taken up in Bengre, Sasihithlu in Dakshina Kannada, Kodi and Byndoor in Udupi at an estimated cost of Rs 3 crore. Under the eco-restoration model project, the forest department will take up developing a biological barrier to control sea erosion in coastal areas.
He said the project will be an attempt to protect the shoreline. “In the entire coastal belt, we have noticed that where there is vegetation, sea erosion has not taken place. Hence, we have decided to go for bio-shielding as a biological barrier to control sea erosion. Four zones – a tall tree zone with casuarina and other plants, a closed herbaceous zone, a small tree and shrub mixed zone and a creeper zone will be developed on the shoreline,” added.
DCF-Mangaluru Division Dinesh Kumar Y K
DCF further said, “Meanwhile, the forest department has also written to the government for setting up a permanent nursery in the district so that interested farmers and individuals can get seedlings throughout the year. On the lines of the nursery in Kerala, attempts are being made to develop a district nursery on nearly five hectares. To promote the cooperation of farmers and the general public in the task of increasing forest and tree cover, the government has set a target of planting 4.41 lakh trees this year and the process will begin in June under the forest department’s ‘Krushi Aranya Protsaha Yojane’ (KAPY),”
“As per the programme, farmers are provided seedlings at subsidized rates from the nearest nurseries of the forest department. The farmers are paid Rs 35 as an incentive for every surviving seedling at the end of the first year. A sum of Rs 40 and Rs 50 per seedling is provided for each surviving seedling after completion of the second and third years respectively. There is a good demand for seedlings in the district, and the fruit trees will replace acacia trees on 200 hectares in Mangaluru forest division” said DCF.
Photo for illustration only
He also said, “A dolphin rescue centre will be set up for the coastal districts including Mangaluru, to rescue and rehabilitate marine species beached off the shore, and a proposal at an estimated cost of Rs 13 crore was submitted to the director-general of forests in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) and is awaiting approval. The dolphin rescue centre will come up at Tannirbavi and the satellite centres will come up in the coastal districts of Udupi and Uttara Kannada ”.
“The coastal waters are known for their rich biodiversity. About 15 % of the marine diversity is on Indian coastal water and about 32 species are listed in Schedule 1 in the Wild Life Protection Act. On several occasions, marine species listed in Schedule 1 of the Wild Life Protection Act are caught in the fishing nets of fishermen. The centre proposes to create awareness and sensitise fishermen on these species including whale sharks and dolphins so that they are released back into the water immediately” said DCF.
DCF also said, “The forest department has proposed identifying local fishermen as ‘Samudra Mitras’ to monitor marine species that get beached off the shores. They will be part of the rapid response team that will inform officials whenever a beaching of marine animals is reported. Further, the proposal also includes compensating fishermen who submit videos and photographs of releasing the caught schedule 1 listed marine species to water. The compensation is proposed on the lines of damage to crops by the wild animals. The department has also proposed hiring veterinarians on a contract basis and joining hands with veterinary doctors serving with NGOs for the rescue centre”.