Nursing the Mangroves
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Nursing the Mangroves
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This film explores mangrove forest depletion in the Indus River Delta on the Pakistani coast. This fast-deteriorating and unique forest provides a habitat for marine life, protection from cyclones, and a way of life for a large community of fishermen. See what environmental activists are doing to conserve the mangroves and save these vast life-giving forests.
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Produced and directed by Nameera Ahmed.

Originally featured in the ViewChange Online Film Contest.


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Segment 1

Nursing the Mangroves, by Nameera Ahmed
TAHIR QURESHI [International Union for Conservation of Nature]
Now you’re going to the western part, the extreme part of the Indus Delta, the western part. And the Indus Delta used to be the hunting grounds of the Mirs.
Unfortunately they are deteriorating really fast. Once they were close to 600,000 hectares. Now, they only cover around 80,000-90,000 hectares.
First of all, they cut living mangroves to build the terminal. They have to open a channel through which their pipes can pass the dredge material from that, they dumped onto the mangroves. If they overlook the environment then how can we expect a poor man who lives here, he will definitely cut the trees to burn firewood and needs fodder for his goats.
MOHAMMAD ALI SHAH [Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum]
Karachi, which does not have any forests nor trees, and there is a lot of pollution here, so the mangroves perform a very important function which we the dwellers of Karachi are not even aware of, they are our oxygen factories. The carbon dioxide of Karachi is absorbed by these mangrove forests, giving us oxygen in return. The other function the mangroves perform is protecting us from cyclones and tsunamis, forming a protective wall.
Timar (mangrove trees) not only protect us from storms, but Timar also provides us with nurseries for our fish and shrimp, including other marine animals. Because fish and shrimps lay their eggs among the roots of the mangroves.
RUQQAIYA USMAN [Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum]
I come from a family of fishermen. When they used to go in the olden days to catch fish they used to come back with a lot more fish. Now, there are no more fish and shrimps in the sea. If they go for three days to the sea, their families remain hungry. They wait for them expectantly, hoping they will get some fish and money.
TAHIRA ALI [Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum]
The treasure of fish in the sea has been depleted. The main reason is pollution. The sewage of Karachi is released into the sea. Besides this, garbage is dumped by KMC trucks into the sea. The sewage of Karachi should be treated before releasing into the sea.
Do you think that the Arabian Sea is a garbage dumping ground?! Is it not a living water body where there is a life?!
We have, all along the Pakistan coast, grown these mangroves. We have planted mangroves on 30,000 hectares.
Whether they are fishermen, farmers, or laborers, until there is a social movement of these sectors, and until an activism develops, until then their voices will not reach the parliaments of the government. >> Certain situations have developed which have not only destroyed our nurseries, but our fishermen as well.