VISAKHAPATNAM: Expressing their concern over degradation of mangrove forests in Visakhapatnam region, a 40-member environmentalist team, which visited the spot near the airport, demanded for immediate measures to prevent encroachment of mangrove forest and industrialisation. The team comprising Andhra University (AU) professors, environmentalists, NGO members and students, staged a protest near the Mahatma Gandhi statue near GVMC office here Sunday.
Holding placards depicting the status of degrading environment in the city, the team tried to spread the message on the advantages of the mangrove trees in coastal region and also environmental hazards posed by industrialisation.
The protesters demanded that mangrove areas in Visakhapatnam be made into bio-reserve park and restrict industrial developments in those areas.
AU zoology professor DE Babu said that many people were unaware of these rare mangroves, which are rich in biodiversity.
“These trees counter attack the natural disasters such as tsunami and provide protection from high tides during the cyclones. They are also a major source for many migratory birds and aquatic species pressing the need for their protection,” said Babu.
Referring to the recent erosion at the RK Beach that caused panic among citizens in the city, he said that the degradaion of mangroves was one of the reasons for coastal erosion.
AU environmental sciences professor PS Rajasekhar, Green Guardians Society founder V Sridhar, Mother Earth Environmental Consciousness Society (MEECONS) founder president G Ravikanth Reddy, members of Green Climate Women Team G Sushma, U Lakshmi and J Rajeswari and students were present.