Misti Scheme: The MISHTI (Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes) scheme is a government initiative aimed at significantly increasing mangrove cover along coastlines and saltpan lands. Focused primarily on the Sundarbans delta, Hoogly Estuary in West Bengal, India, and other bay areas, the scheme also includes various wetlands across the country. Its main goal is the conservation and restoration of the crucial mangrove ecosystem.
Recognizing the vital role of mangroves in mitigating climate change impacts, preventing coastal erosion, and supporting local livelihoods, the MISHTI scheme addresses environmental and socio-economic challenges strategically.
By extending its reach beyond specific regions, the scheme demonstrates a commitment to holistic conservation efforts that contribute to the well-being of ecosystems and communities. With innovative approaches and tangible outcomes, MISHTI serves as a model for sustainable environmental management and community prosperity.
The MISHTI scheme empowers local communities through financial assistance for mangrove plantation. It includes awareness campaigns on the vital role of mangroves and executes plantation activities in a participatory manner, involving communities and NGOs.
This holistic approach fosters sustainability, community ownership, and contributes to the conservation of India’s coastal areas.
Mangroves, crucial for coastal ecosystems, face threats from deforestation, urbanization, climate change, and natural disasters. The Indian government’s MISHTI scheme addresses these challenges, focusing on the Sundarbans and Hoogly Estuary.
Using a participatory approach with local communities and NGOs, the scheme aims to increase mangrove cover, ensuring sustainable ecosystem management, biodiversity preservation, and enhanced community resilience.
This article delves into the MISHTI scheme, emphasizing the importance of mangroves in coastal ecosystems.
Misti Scheme: Overview
The MISHTI (Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes) scheme is a significant government-led effort in India aimed at bolstering the mangrove cover along coastlines and saltpan lands.
Primarily focused on the Sundarbans delta and Hoogly Estuary in West Bengal, the scheme extends its reach to other bay areas and wetlands across the country. Its primary objective is the conservation and restoration of the crucial mangrove ecosystem, recognized for its role in climate change mitigation, prevention of coastal erosion, and support for local livelihoods.
|Full form||Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes|
|Objective||To conserve and restore mangrove ecosystems along the Indian coastline, while also improving the socio-economic condition of local communities|
|Implementing Agency||Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC)|
|Partners||Mangroves for the Future (MFF), Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)|
|Funding||80% of the project cost is borne by the Government of India, while the remaining 20% is contributed by the respective State Governments|
|Target Area||Coastal areas and salt pan lands in the States of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal|
|Community Participation||Local communities are actively involved in the implementation of the scheme, with technical assistance and training provided by ICFRE|
|Impact||Increased mangrove cover in target areas, improvement in socio-economic conditions of local communities, mitigation of the impact of natural disasters|
|Future Plans||Expansion of the scheme to other coastal areas in the country, promotion of alternative livelihood options for local communities|
Under the MISHTI scheme, the government provides financial assistance to local communities for mangrove plantation activities. This approach fosters a sense of community ownership and ensures the sustainability of the initiative.
Complementing these efforts are awareness campaigns designed to educate people about the vital importance of mangroves in environmental protection. The participatory approach involves collaboration with local communities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
By combining financial support, awareness-building, and community engagement, the MISHTI scheme stands as a beacon for promoting sustainable development and safeguarding India’s vulnerable coastal areas.
This holistic strategy not only addresses ecological concerns but also empowers communities to actively participate in and benefit from conservation efforts, creating a positive ripple effect for both the environment and the people it serves.
Misti Scheme: Objectives
- Mangrove Conservation:
- Increase mangrove cover along the Indian coastline, focusing on Sundarbans delta and Hoogly Estuary.
- Community Engagement:
- Promote community-driven mangrove plantation and restoration with active involvement of local communities and NGOs.
- Coastal Resilience:
- Enhance ecological resilience against erosion, storm surges, and sea-level rise in the coastal ecosystem.
- Biodiversity Enhancement:
- Conserve and promote biodiversity within the mangrove ecosystem, safeguarding threatened and endangered species.
- Livelihood Opportunities:
- Generate sustainable livelihoods for local communities through activities like ecotourism, crab farming, and honey production.
The MISHTI scheme aligns with global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), reflecting a commitment to sustainable development and climate change adaptation.
Implementation Of Misti Scheme
- Community Involvement:
- Emphasizes active participation of local communities in mangrove plantation and conservation.
- Formation of Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) involving villagers, NGOs, and the forest department.
- Technical Support:
- Provides technical assistance and training for various aspects, including site selection, seed collection, nursery management, and post-plantation care.
- Supplies necessary tools and equipment for plantation and maintenance.
- Health Care Provision:
- Recognizes the health importance of local communities.
- Offers health care facilities, including regular check-ups, medicine distribution, and basic health care training.
- Social Mobilization:
- Conducts awareness campaigns, street plays, and community meetings to educate communities about mangrove conservation.
- Aims to promote eco-tourism, creating sustainable livelihoods for local communities.
Impact of the MISHTI Scheme 2023 For Country’s Farmers
MISHTI Scheme Impact Highlights:
- Socio-Economic Advancements:
- Generated income for local communities through eco-tourism and mangrove-based product sales.
- Improved education and healthcare facilities, enhancing overall socio-economic conditions.
- Expansion of Mangrove Forests:
- Significant increase in coastal mangrove forests.
- Contributed to the rehabilitation of degraded mangrove ecosystems, fostering biodiversity conservation.
- Natural Disaster Mitigation:
- Acted as natural barriers, mitigating the impact of cyclones, floods, and storms.
- Reduced damage from natural disasters, facilitating swift community recovery.
- Conservation Success:
- Successfully achieved objectives of mangrove ecosystem conservation and sustainable livelihood generation.
- Exemplifies effective community-based natural resource management for conservation activities.
Difficulties and Prospects for India’s MISHTI Scheme 2023
- Lack of Awareness:
- Major challenge in communicating the significance of mangrove forests to local communities.
- Funding Constraints:
- Implementation demands substantial financial resources, posing a significant challenge.
- Land Use Conflicts:
- Instances of conflict arise when identified land for mangrove plantation is repurposed.
- Community Mobilization and Awareness:
- Conduct awareness campaigns to educate local communities on mangrove importance.
- Public-Private Partnerships:
- Explore partnerships to secure additional funding for effective scheme implementation.
- Land Use Planning:
- Implement participatory land use planning to prevent conflicts and ensure mangrove land preservation.
- Expansion of the Scheme:
- Extend MISHTI scheme implementation to cover additional coastal areas.
- Promotion of Eco-tourism:
- Develop eco-tourism initiatives to augment revenue for local communities.
- Capacity Building:
- Conduct capacity building activities to enhance technical and entrepreneurial skills of local communities involved in mangrove plantation and conservation.
The MISHTI scheme, while successful, is proactively addressing challenges and evolving with future plans to ensure sustainability and broader impact.
Mangrove Forests: Guardians of Coastal Life
Mangrove forests, thriving in the intertidal zones of coastal areas, serve as vibrant ecosystems with remarkable contributions:
- Biodiversity Hub:
- Host diverse marine life, fostering a rich array of species within their unique habitat.
- Vital Food Web:
- Support a robust food web, offering breeding grounds for small fish, mud crabs, and shrimps, sustaining local artisanal fishers.
- Carbon Storage Experts:
- Act as efficient carbon stores, holding up to four times more carbon than other forested ecosystems.
- Climate Change Allies:
- Capture significant amounts of carbon dioxide, aiding in atmospheric carbon removal, and act as a barrier to prevent carbon release, contributing to climate change mitigation.
In essence, the preservation of mangrove forests not only safeguards diverse ecosystems but also emerges as a crucial player in combating climate change.
Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC)
Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC): A Global Climate Action
- Launch Venue:
- Unveiled at the 27th session of the Conference of Parties (COP27) UN climate summit, with India joining as a key partner.
- Initiating Nations:
- Spearheaded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Indonesia, the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC) boasts collaboration with India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Japan, and Spain.
- Mission and Focus:
- Aims to globally educate and raise awareness about the pivotal role of mangroves in mitigating global warming, emphasizing their potential as a climate change solution.
- Regional Mangrove Landscape:
- South Asia is home to extensive mangrove areas, with Indonesia hosting a significant one-fifth of the global mangrove population.
- India contributes around 3% to South Asia’s mangrove cover, with notable areas in the Sundarbans (West Bengal), Andamans, and Kachchh and Jamnagar (Gujarat).
The Mangrove Alliance for Climate brings nations together to champion the cause of mangroves in the face of climate change, fostering awareness and collaborative efforts for a sustainable future.
Importance of Mangroves
Mangroves: Nature’s Guardians in Climate Resilience
- Coastline Protection:
- Essential in climate change mitigation, mangrove plantations act as natural shields against extreme weather events, preventing flooding, land erosion, and serving as a buffer during cyclones.
- Coastal Erosion Mitigation:
- The intricate root systems of mangroves not only bind and build soils but also slow down water flow, leading to sediment deposits that significantly reduce coastal erosion.
- Carbon Sink Prowess:
- Remarkable carbon sequestration capabilities: Mangrove trees, thriving in saline waters, can sequester up to four times more carbon than tropical rainforests.
- Efficient Carbon Storage:
- Despite covering only 0.1% of the Earth’s surface, mangroves possess the potential to store up to 10 times more carbon per hectare (ha) than terrestrial forests.
- Supporting Local Livelihoods:
- Mangroves foster a thriving food web, creating breeding grounds for small fish, mud crabs, and shrimps, offering a sustainable livelihood to local artisanal fishers.
Mangroves, though occupying a small portion of the planet, play a colossal role in climate resilience, carbon storage, and supporting local communities, showcasing their unparalleled significance in environmental conservation.
Threats to Mangroves
Mangrove Decline: Human-Induced Threats
Report Findings (2022):
- The Global Mangrove Alliance’s 2022 report reveals a disheartening loss of 600 sq km of mangroves from 2010 to 2020.
- Over 62% of this loss resulted directly from human activities, indicating a significant anthropogenic impact.
Major Threats Include:
- Infrastructure Projects:
- Industrial expansions, road constructions, and railway developments contribute to mangrove destruction.
- Shifting Coastlines:
- Natural alterations in coastlines pose a threat to mangrove ecosystems.
- Coastal Erosion and Storms:
- Rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and storms intensify the vulnerability of mangroves.
- Rapid urban development encroaches on mangrove habitats, leading to their decline.
- Industrial and water pollution negatively impact mangrove health and biodiversity.
- Shrimp farming, a prevalent industry, has globally destroyed 35,000 hectares of mangroves.
- Conversion of mangroves into rice paddies for agricultural purposes accelerates their depletion.
Human-induced threats stand as formidable challenges to mangrove conservation, urging a collective effort to address these issues and preserve these crucial ecosystems.
How will MISHTI Scheme help in Mangrove Conservation?
MISHTI Scheme: Boosting Mangrove Conservation in India
Objectives and Mechanisms:
- Mangrove Plantation:
- Location Focus: MISHTI targets India’s coastline and salt pan lands.
- Financial Aid: Offers financial support to states and local communities for mangrove plantation and rehabilitation.
- Convergence for Afforestation:
- Holistic Approach: Aims at convergence between MGNREGS, Campa Fund, and other sources.
- Objective: Intensively afforest coastal mangrove forests.
- Sustainable Management:
- Promotion: Advocates the use of sustainable mangrove management practices.
- Emphasis: Strives for practices ensuring the long-term health of mangrove ecosystems.
- Research Support:
- Scope: Encourages and supports research on mangrove ecology and conservation.
- Goal: Enhancing understanding and strategies for effective mangrove preservation.
MISHTI in a Nutshell:
The MISHTI scheme stands as a comprehensive initiative, providing financial backing, promoting sustainable practices, and encouraging research to fortify mangrove ecosystems along India’s coastline.
Where do mangroves grow in India?
India’s Mangroves: A Vital Ecosystem Under Pressure
- Global Overview:
- Total Mangrove Cover: 1,47,000 sq km globally.
- India’s Share: 4,992 sq km, according to IFSR 2021.
- Geographical Distribution:
- Across Regions: In nine states and three Union Territories.
- Highest Cover: West Bengal leads with 2,114 sq km.
- Positive Trends:
- Cover Increase: From 4,046 sq km in 1987 to 4,992 sq km in 2021.
- Challenges Faced:
- Population Pressure: Rising coastal population impacting mangrove areas.
- Resource Demand: Demand for land, timber, fodder, and fisheries.
- Mangrove Species:
- Classification: True mangroves (42 species) and mangrove associates (68 species).
- Key Features: Adaptations like pneumatophores and salt-secreting cells.
- Ecosystem Resilience:
- Diversity Importance: Stability requires a mix of species.
- Creation Challenges: Experts suggest trial, experience, and monitoring for effective mangrove ecosystem development.
India’s mangroves face dual dynamics of growth and threats. Despite positive trends, the ecosystem contends with population pressures and resource demands, emphasizing the need for sustainable conservation efforts and diverse species for resilience.
What is the ecosystem of these forests?
Mangrove Forests: Nurturing Growth Amid Threats
- Origin: Intertidal flow and adequate sediments for rooted tree growth.
- Threat Dynamics: Aquaculture and fisheries hindering tidal flow are primary threats.
- Scenario: Largest Indian mangrove forest faces clearing for fisheries.
- Challenges: Coastal land reclamation for agriculture, aquaculture, and industry.
- Regulatory Context: Areas under Coastal Regulation Zone affected by these activities.
Critical for Survival:
- Essential Step: Restoration of land, enabling intertidal flow.
- Crucial for: Successful plantation and long-term survival of mangrove forests.
In essence, mangrove conservation necessitates a delicate balance between human activities and ecosystem preservation, with uninterrupted tidal flow being a key factor in sustaining these vital coastal forests.
Which agency will be responsible for it?
MISHTI: Nurturing Mangroves with Strategic Convergence
- Integration Platforms: MGNREGS, CAMPA Fund, and additional sources drive MISHTI.
- Community-Centric Approach: Extensive community involvement vital for success.
Challenges and Realities:
- Survival Rates: Seed survival at 50%, saplings at 60%, stabilization in three years.
- Ownership Imperative: Local communities’ active involvement crucial for sustained results.
- Effluent Impact: Untreated domestic and industrial discharges disrupt inter-tidal flow.
- Key Processes Hindered: Hindrance to natural mixing of freshwater and saline water.
In essence, the MISHTI initiative, while navigating survival challenges and community engagement, recognizes the intricate role of environmental processes in sustaining mangrove ecosystems, emphasizing the need for holistic conservation efforts.
Why is it crucial for fighting climate change?
Mangroves: Nature’s Carbon Guardians
Carbon Storage Impact:
- Magnitude: Mangroves store up to four times more carbon than some ecosystems.
- Critical Loss: A 1% loss could mean the release of 0.23 gigatons of CO2 equivalent.
MISHTI and National Commitments:
- Strategic Alignment: MISHTI echoes India’s commitment to creating an additional carbon sink.
- Global Participation: India joins the Mangrove Alliance for Climate, underscoring international collaboration.
In essence, initiatives like MISHTI play a pivotal role in safeguarding mangroves, vital carbon reservoirs crucial for climate change mitigation, aligning with India’s broader commitment to environmental sustainability.
Mangroves play a crucial role in climate action, requiring preservation, restoration, and sustainable management. Integrating mangrove conservation into global policies, supporting local communities, and the MISHTI scheme are essential for climate change resilience.