An MFF (India) Update

The end of 2011 and beginning of 2012 marked a flurry of activitiy for MFF (India). Here's a quick recap of some of the activities and projects we undertook/are undertaking

APOWA inception workshop with government officials and local communities (February 2012)

Small Grant projects

At the end of 2011, 5 projects were contracted as part of Phase II of the small grants initiative. These projects are largely focused on the conservation of specific ecosystems and species through state and national level recovery/management plans; on-field activities for these projects have commenced. 

  1. Action for the Protection of Wild Animals (APOWA): Community stewardship in conservation, restoration and sustainable management of mangroves in Orissa
  2. Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute (SDMRI): Seagrass resource survey and assessment in Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay, south-eastern India
  3. Wetlands International - South Asia: Stakeholder led management planning for Vembanad Kol backwaters, Kerala
  4. Wildlife Trust of India (WTI): An assessment of the past and present distribution of the Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) across the Indian Peninsula
  5. World Wildlife Fund (WWF): Commercially important gastropod shell resources and trade in India: Distribution, Status & Conservation Strategies

In the coming month MFF (India) will contract 3 more small grant projects aimed at restoring and conserving mangroves, as well as raising awareness of their importance. 

  1. Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS): Ecological assessment and education for conservation of mangrove community in Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra
  2. Development Alternatives (DA): Mangrove conservation and management, enhancing livelihood opportunities for mangrove dependent communities in Bhitarkanika reserve forest
  3. Coastal Gujuart Power Limited (CGPL, Tata Company): Community based mangrove restoration plantation and conervation of mangroves in village Kantiyajal, Bharuch, Gujarat

Large Grant project

MFF (India) has signed its first large grant project, Alternative livelihood options for vulnerable mangrove resource users in the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve, West Bengal, in partnership with the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve (State Forest Department, Government of West Bengal, India) in November 2011. The goal of the project is to reduce the immense anthropogenic pressure on the Sundarban mangroves natural resources through several targeted activities including (i) improved institutional and organizational arrangements for conservation and protection of the Sundarbans mangrove ecosystem; (ii) improved environmental, biodiversity and livelihood security through reduced dependency of local people on forest resources and; (iii) improved scientific monitoring of mangroves and enhanced project management. The inception workshop was held in Calcutta in March 2012 and several potential partners were identified.

Mangroves: Guardians of Our Coasts (movie)

Riverbank Studios, led by renowned wildlife film maker Mike Pandey, was contracted to film and develop a movie in collaboration with MFF (India) to raise awareness of the importance of mangroves. The movie was shot in the mangrove forests of India, primarily in the states of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and West Bengal (Sundarbans). It was released on two separate occasions, at the Regional Conservation Forum in South Korea (September 2011) and the Regional Steering Committee meeting in the Maldives (October 2012).

Guardians of the Coast showcases the fascinating web of life that surrounds tidal mangrove forests, including the regulatory and provisioning services they provide and the livelihoods that depend on them. The movie presents the unique collaborations between governments, regional and local institutions, NGO’s and local communities in efforts to save these vulnerable ecosystems and restore them to their former glory. Although it chiefly focuses on Indian mangroves, the movie highlights regionally mutual threats to mangrove forests and the need for conservation. The movie thus appeals to a large audience and serves as an important knowledge product and awareness generating tool.

For copies of the movie please contact us at the details given below.

Fishtales (blog)

Fishtales, is aimed at educating and encouraging youth to appreciate the value of India’s rich coastal and marine biodiversity and understand the threats that they face. The content is dynamic and will be regularly updated with current activities and latest news. Dr Crab, the blog mascot, is present on every page to offer navigational help and/or interesting facts about the article. The thought is to create an informal forum that is both educational and entertaining, where readers can interact with one another and share experiences and viewpoints on issues related to India’s coastal and marine environment.Visit our blog at

To contribute articles/news/photos please contact us at the details given below or through the details given on the blog. 

For further information on any of the above, contact us at: 

MFF National Coordinator

IUCN India Country Office:

20 Anand Lok, August Kranti Marg, New Delhi 110 049

Telefax: +91 11 2625 7742


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