The Sindh Forest Department is attempting to inscribe its name in the Guinness World Records by planting maximum number of mangrove saplings during the daylight hours in Kharo Chaan, Thatta District on June 22, 2013.
Guinness World Records is a universally recognized authority on the cataloguing and verification of a huge number of world records – the organization employs official record adjudicators authorized to verify the setting and breaking of records.
Earlier, the Sindh Forest Department in 2009 had set a record by planting 541,176 saplings in Keti Bunder, which was overturned by India in 2010. The current attempt is to regain this title by planting at least 7,50,000 mangroves saplings in Kharo Chaan, Thatta in one go. As per the guidelines mandated by the adjudicators at the Guinness World Records, the record has to be set by 300 volunteers only during the daylight hours.
The overall purpose of the activity is to focus on the significance of the Indus Delta mangroves, its affiliated biodiversity and above all, the dependence of the coastal communities on this fragile and vulnerable ecosystem. The previous Guinness World Record set in 2009 has shown that events such as these can bring positive changes for the local communities. Since the Guinness World Record of 2009, the communities in Keti Bunder have received clean drinking water facility, a fully functional jetty with fish storage space, and a network of metalled roads under various projects. The other aspect of this activity is to earn an international recognition vis-à-vis the plantation of hundreds of thousands of mangroves in a country, which is facing a severe loss of forest cover. Mangroves act as a natural defense line against natural disasters such as sea storms and cyclones. They are home to an array of marine life and are also known as incredible carbon sequesters.
The inaugural ceremony on June 21st, 2013 at 7:00 pm is to be followed by a cultural programme and dinner, where the local and national artists will showcase their talents. A large number of public figures, government officials and media personnel are attending this mega environmental event.
Pakistan Navy has extended scientific support to the Sindh Forest Department for the event. Based on the tidal data shared by the Navy, 22nd June has been selected as the most opportune day to avail maximum daylight hours i.e. 14 hours approximately. The attempting time to plant the saplings would be between 5:30 am to 7:30 pm, Pakistan Standard Time.
This activity is being organized under the Sindh Coastal Community Development project funded by the Asian Development Bank. IUCN Pakistan has been working as an implementation partner on this project for the last 5 years. IUCN is also the media facilitator for the Guinness World Records event.
It is imperative to draw attention to Sindh’s vibrant and rich coastline, which stretches over 350 kilometers. Indus delta with its outstanding ecological and cultural significance occupies a significant area along the coast of Pakistan. The Sindh Coastal Community Development project area encompasses the districts of Thatta and Badin and the talukas (sub-districts) of Ghorabari, Keti Bunder, Jati, Shah Bandar, Kharo Chaan, Mirpur Sakro and SF Rahu. The coastal areas are one of the most neglected and least advantaged in Pakistan.
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