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Coringa faces deforestation threat

EGREE Foundation launches awareness programme on protecting flora. Boats with firewood reach the shore in the early hours of the day and sales continue till sunrise. According to official records there are 34 species in the Godavari mangroves including 16 mangrove species and 18 associated ones.

 

Deforestation is posing a major threat to the flora in Coringa mangroves as a large number of families from fishermen community are selling firewood here for their livelihood. The second largest after Sundarbans in West Bengal, Coringa mangroves are an abode to a good number of endangered species and plants. Since it is located abutting the confluence point of the river and the sea, it is a perfect place for mangroves.

 

Local fishermen families cut wood in the mangroves and sell it. They reach the mangroves on country-made boats to cut the wood and return to the shore with the logs. Their residential area near Chollangi Revu on Kakinada-Yanam Road is one of the major markets of firewood where customers buy firewood on a weekly basis.

 

“Once I used to spend Rs.15 a week on firewood. Now, they revised the price and it is Rs.50. Anyway, it is lesser than kerosene or any other fuel,” says Sheik Mastan, who resides opposite MSN Charities.

 

Boats with firewood reach the shore in the early hours of the day and sales continue till sunrise. According to official records there are 34 species in the Godavari mangroves including 16 mangrove species and 18 associated ones.

 

“We had been in this profession for many generations. After all, we are not cutting the entire forest but removing some branches from huge trees to eke out a livelihood. What is wrong in it?” asks Kamadi Satyam, a resident of Chollangi. The EGREE Foundation, a UNDP-sponsored service organisation working on Coringa mangroves protection, launched awareness programmes on protecting the flora. “We are involving the community in mangrove protection, which slowly weans them away from cutting the woods,” says P. Sathiyaselvam, conservation biologist of the foundation.

 

Source : The Hindu, 30 May 2014