WTI Field Officer Ramith M hands over a framed mangrove awareness poster to Sathi Devi, the Headmistress of Gopal UP School
Kunhimangalam, Kerala, June 9, 2017: ‘Connecting People with Nature’ – the theme of this year’s World Environment Day celebrations – is exactly what Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and Apollo Tyres Ltd strive to do through the Kannur Kandal (Mangrove Conservation) project in Kerala. The project has secured (with the assistance of World Land Trust) 18.65 acres of species-rich mangrove habitat in the Kannur district of the state and now focuses its activities on developing a connect between local communities, especially school and college students, and mangrove habitats. The aim is to inculcate an awareness of the vital importance of these ecosystems and build a groundswell of support for their conservation.
On June 5, the project organised a World Environment Day programme with students of the Gopal Upper Primary School in Kunhimangalam. Over 300 students from Standard I to VII participated in the programme, which included an awareness session on the importance of being connected to the natural environment, the specifics and importance of mangrove ecosystems and their impact on the sustainable livelihoods of local communities. The session, which included a lecture by WTI Field Officer Ramith M, was inaugurated by the school’s Headmistress Sathi Devi and chaired by PTA president A Unnikrishnan.
Students were then taken around a photo-exhibition on the flora and fauna of mangrove ecosystems that had been set up in the school premises. Over 100 photographs by naturalists, arranged to showcase the adaptations and importance of mangroves and the threats posed to them, were on display. A field trip to the mangroves secured under the Kannur Kandal project had also been planned, but had to be cancelled due to heavy monsoon rains.
The event ended with the WTI project team handing over a framed poster on the importance of mangroves to the school authorities. The poster will be on permanent display in the school and will help spread awareness among students for years to come.
Students at the mangrove awareness session organised by WTI-Apollo Tyres’ Kannur Kandal Project on World Environment Day