Mangrove Action Day in India
4 August 2009, Orissa (India). On the occasion of the International Mangrove Action Day on 26 July, Action for Protection of Wild Animals (APOWA) organized a poster and photo exhibition at Sivananda Sishu Mandir at Rajanagar, Orissa. More than five hundred children and adults visited the exhibition. Activities and various projects on mangroves were prepared by the children of various schools in the area.
Immediately after inauguration, students up to primary level gathered for colouring and painting activities. All the students were given papers and asked to draw a mangrove ecosystem found in the surrounding villages and forest. Needless to say that all the children did their best and once the activity was over all the drawings were put up for display on selected spots at the venue.
Mr. Satyabrata Panda, a teacher from Sivananada School, was invited to speak on behalf of the organizers about the programme. In his speech, he appreciated the various activities conducted as a part of the programme and said that such activities were of great use and are much needed at this time. The best photo and posters were awarded prizes at the end of the meeting.
The objectives of the event were: to highlight the importance of mangroves; to educate the attendees about mangrove ecosystems; and to give the children an an opportunity to showcase their artistic challenges. In addition to the exhibition, a panel discussion on “Mangrove Ecosystem for Coastal Disaster Risk Reduction” was jointly convened by the Centre for the Environment and Public Policy (CEPP) and Bhubaneswar and Action for Protection of Wild Animals (APOWA) at the state capital Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
Sharing experiences from threatened parts along Orissa’s coast, participants deliberated on the urgency to protect and conserve mangroves. “There has been a renewed emphasis on mangroves primarily after the Orissa Super cyclone and Asian Tsunami and since Orissa’s coast has become ground zero for many disasters, we need to strengthen our ongoing efforts,” stated Jyotiraj Patra, a doctoral student from the University of Oxford, UK. Among others NGOs, CBOs, representatives from Fisherman communities of the Orissa coast deliberated on the existing and emerging challenges associated with mangrove protection and coastal livelihood security.