Indus Delta mangroves
The Project area sits on the fifth largest delta in the world and is one of WWF’s Global 200 Ecoregions of crucial importance. The area falls within the Green Route of migratory birds and plays a key role in coastal stabilisation and sustenance for local fishing communities in the area. Between 1950-2000, human land use and industrial activity destroyed the biological productivity of the wetland increasing vulnerability for biodiversity and people.
To respond to these threats, the Delta Blue Project was started via a public-private partnership to restore the Sindh Indus Delta Region. Six years since its inception, the project has restored 73,000 ha of degraded mangrove forests, benefiting 43,000 locals and will sequester a total of over 127 million tCO2e over the Project’s lifetime.
Indus Delta Capital
The Earthly Rating
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Tonnes of CO2 sequestered since the start of the project
Hectares of restored biodiversity habitat
People benefiting from improved protection from storm surges and other coastal hazards
Project Area: Through Time
Mangroves play a crucial role in coastal storm and flood protection especially in Pakistan, which is among the top countries in the Long-Term Climate Risk Index. Declining mangrove cover and a damaged wetland ecosystem has significantly lowered this region’s capacity to provide climate resilience to people affected by regular flooding events in Pakistan.
Based on the image we can know that the project area is a mangrove coastal area which is marked by a white outline. In this image, the NDVI values range between 0.6 and 0.8 over the years, suggesting that the vegetation remained healthy since the start of the project in 2015. Additionally, there is an increasing amount of healthier vegetation, indicating growth and expansion of the mangrove forest between 2010 and 2020.
Positive for People
The project area surrounds 60 fishing villages inhabited by 42,000 fishing villagers. 70% of the inhabitants fall below the poverty line (over 70% of the population survive on less than $1.25 a day), with high illiteracy rates (31 villages have literacy rates less than 0.1%) and have poor access to health and clean drinking water services.
A Social and Biodiversity Impact Assessment (SBIA) was conducted to design the Social Activities for the Project. This includes but is not limited to improving access to education and hiring local personnel for capacity building activities. The project will employ 1000 locals to help carry out the project, 400 of whom will be women. Proceeds from the project are invested in improving educational outcomes for people such as setting up transportation services for small children to access education, and initiating an adult literacy program. The project has already provided clean drinking water access for up to 500 people a day.
Fishing Stewardship Communities (FSCs) have been established to ensure that fishermen are duly compensated, have adequate market access and perform fishing in accordance with sustainable harvesting practices. In addition, the project supports skills-based employment activities such as crab farming/aquaculture, livestock rearing, training for sorting, processing and marketing fish – as well as providing cold storage facilities and new fishing nets.
All activities will directly contribute to a better standard of living for the local communities that are increasingly facing threats of climate change.
Good for Earth
The Project has identified the core issue causing degradation of the Indus Delta as “poor appreciation of biodiversity value”. Project activities for biodiversity have thus been designed to tackle these through four broad themes: wetland restoration, habitat security enhancement, sustainable land use and improved awareness and advocacy.
Already, 73,125 ha within the Project has been replanted and Mangrove Stewardship Agreements signed with communities to improve protection and care for the planted mangrove saplings. Also, communities are being organised into Village Development Communities (VDCs) to protect and improve monitoring of the key biodiversity.
The first monitoring report has already noted an improvement in 11 globally threatened species, including the Indus River dolphin, the Indian Ocean humpback dolphin, the Indian pangolin and the fishing cat, and for numerous other migratory birds, mammals, reptiles and fish in the region. Climate benefits have been observed through reduced occurrence and intensity of climate-related hazards due to the fact that the planted mangroves attenuate the wave energy of storms surges, and thus reduce the damaging effects of floods and slow the progression of saline water into inland areas.
The Indus Private Ltd is a climate and development focused project developer and are experts in forest protection and community development. For this project, they have partnered with Silvestrum Climate Associates who are standardbearers in the work on blue carbon. For permanence, they have secured a 60-year agreement, renewable up to 100 years with the Government of Sindh, Pakistan to conduct project activities and share full responsibilities for project management, financing and implementation along with the Government of Sindh.