What’s the Mangrove Alliance for Local weather, which India joined at COP27?

On the twenty seventh Session of Convention of Events (COP27), this yr’s UN local weather summit, the Mangrove Alliance for Local weather (MAC) was launched with India as a companion on Tuesday (November 8). The transfer, in keeping with India’s aim to extend its carbon sink, will see New Delhi collaborating with Sri Lanka, Indonesia and different international locations to protect and restore the mangrove forests within the area.

Attending the occasion in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt on Tuesday, Union Minister for Setting Forest and Local weather Change Bhupender Yadav stated that India is residence to one of many largest remaining areas of mangroves on this planet — the Sundarbans — and has years of experience in restoration of mangrove cowl that can be utilized to help international measures on this path.


An initiative led by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Indonesia, the Mangrove Alliance for Local weather (MAC) consists of India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Japan, and Spain. It seeks to coach and unfold consciousness worldwide on the function of mangroves in curbing international warming and its potential as an answer for local weather change.

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE’s Minister of Local weather Change and the Setting, whereas launching the alliance, stated that her nation intends to plant 3 million mangroves within the subsequent two months, in step with UAE’s COP26 pledge of planting 100 million mangroves by 2030.

“Growing reliance on nature-based options is an integral factor of the UAE’s local weather motion on the home in addition to worldwide degree, due to this fact, we search to broaden our mangrove cowl,” she stated, as per a report in Dubai-based information channel Al Arabiya. “We’re happy to launch MAC collectively with Indonesia, and consider it’ll go a good distance in driving collective local weather motion and rehabilitating blue carbon ecosystems,” she added.

Nonetheless, the intergovernmental alliance works on a voluntary foundation which signifies that there are not any actual checks and balances to carry members accountable. As a substitute, the events will determine their very own commitments and deadlines concerning planting and restoring mangroves. The members will even share experience and assist one another in researching, managing and defending coastal areas.

The importance of mangroves

Mangroves have been the main target of conservationists for years and it’s troublesome to overstate their significance within the international local weather context. Mangrove forests — consisting of timber and shrub that
dwell in intertidal water in coastal areas — host various marine life. In addition they assist a wealthy meals internet, with molluscs and algae-filled substrate appearing as a breeding floor for small fish, mud crabs and shrimps, thus offering a livelihood to native artisanal fishers.

Equally importantly, they act as efficient carbon shops, holding as much as 4 occasions the quantity of carbon as different forested ecosystems. Mangrove forests seize huge quantities of carbon dioxide from the environment and their preservation can each assist in elimination of carbon from the environment and forestall the discharge of the identical upon their destruction.

The present state of the mangroves

South Asia homes a number of the most intensive areas of mangroves globally, whereas Indonesia hosts one-fifth of the general quantity.

India holds round 3 p.c of South Asia’s mangrove inhabitants. Apart from the Sundarbans in West Bengal, the Andamans area, the Kachchh and Jamnagar areas in Gujarat too have substantial mangrove cowl.

Nonetheless, infrastructure tasks — industrial growth and constructing of roads and railways, and pure processes — shifting coastlines, coastal erosion and storms, have resulted in a big lower in mangrove habitats.

Between 2010 and 2020, round 600 sq km of mangroves had been misplaced of which greater than 62% was attributable to direct human impacts, the International Mangrove Alliance stated in its 2022 report.

India at COP

Not like different world leaders — US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak — Prime Minister Narendra Modi has skipped this version of the convention, with Union Minister Bhupender Yadav representing India as an alternative.

Yadav has stated that India’s focus presently is on concessional and climate-specific grants to drive local weather finance, and has teamed up with Brazil, South Africa and China (the BASIC bloc) to barter agreements.

Calls for by varied negotiating blocs

As seen within the earlier classes of the local weather convention, constructing consensus among the many 190+ international locations who’re members of the UN Framework Conference on Local weather Change (UNFCCC) is a troublesome activity. China, for example, has ramped up the usage of coal amidst power safety dangers and rising tensions with Taiwan. Its deteriorating relationship with the US, the second-biggest emitter of greenhouse gasoline behind Beijing, has additional difficult potentialities of negotiations.

The European Union, which negotiates as a single entity for its 27 members, is on the decrease finish of the spectrum of gasoline emitters, however is beneath strain to ease its resistance to its staunch place
in opposition to the difficulty of ‘loss and harm’, which requires wealthy and developed international locations to compensate poorer, growing international locations who’re disproportionately affected by the results of local weather change.

G77 and China is the biggest intergovernmental organisation of growing international locations within the UN. Pakistan, which presently chairs the group and confronted devastating floods this yr, will lead the group in its demand for a devoted fund for compensation from rich international locations, Reuters reported. The Local weather Weak Discussion board, which represents 58 international locations which might be disproportionately affected by the results of local weather change corresponding to Bangladesh and Maldives, reportedly calls for a devoted fund through which wealthy polluting nations assist bear the prices of “loss and harm”.

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