KOCHI: The Kerala coast is under the threat of sea surge due to the rise in sea level caused by increasing sea surface temperature, said, marine experts.
Restoration of coastal vegetation can act as a bio-shield to save the coastal populace, said the experts, who participated in a webinar organised by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) on Saturday on the occasion of World Environment Day.
The entire Kerala coast had recently witnessed ‘storm surge’ during the two cyclones — Tauktae and Yaas. Experts are of the view that such storm surge are likely to increase in coming years.
“Conservation of coastal biodiversity is the best long-term natural option for protecting the lives of coastal people from sea turbulence”, said CMFRI Director A Gopalakrishnan.
“A recent study revealed that mangroves protect coastal areas from severe surges. There are lots of ideal areas along the coastal stretch in Kerala which can be conserved through mangrove forestation”, he said.
The webinar, which was attended by leading experts from the country, recommended the restoration of coastal vegetation along the Kerala coast. The mangrove forestation should be planned as a social forestry concept with public participation.
Feasibility studies are required for identifying potential areas. The webinar also stressed the need for awareness programmes among different stakeholders to build a bio-green belt along the coast aiming to protect the lives of people living in the coastal belt.
Maharashtra Forest Development Corporation managing director N Vasudevan, Kerala Forest Eastern Circle Chief Conservator PP Pramod, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation Coastal Systems Research Programme director R Ramasubramanian, SAARC Senior Programme Specialist Grinson George, CMFRI principal scientists P Kaladharan, K Vinod and scientist R Ratheesh Kumar also spoke at the webinar.