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Mangroves, the life supporting eco-system (fisheries and food production, medicinal use, tourism, storm and cyclone buffers) those are critical to economic activities for many coastal communities. Mangroves have a high potential to reduce climate change-induced threats, particularly the impacts of cyclones and storm surges; simultaneously, they provide livelihood resources for local communities. It checks soil erosion due to flooding and carbon sink as a part of global climate changes and reduction of the environmental disasters. Sustainable management and conservation of these vital and life sustaining natural resources involving local communities and other stakeholders are needs of the hour.


Over the years, APOWA has been contributing innovative models for the restoration, conservation and sustainable management of the mangroves through community participation in Odisha. Though APOWA’s

initiatives such as developing VMC (Village Mangrove Council) as an appropriate grass root level institutional design for taking this initiative forward and increased the momentum of sustainable management of mangroves. APOWA has been successfully restored more than 100ha. of mangrove forest through community participation in Kendrapara district, Odisha state.


APOWA’s approaches to long-term mangrove conservation are:

a. Mangrove Restoration & Plantation: We are implementing mangrove restoration & plantation through community participation in coastal villages. We are promoting ecological mangrove restoration method. This restoration method is an economical and efficient approach to mangrove restoration that follows basic natural processes.   

b. Mangrove Education & Awareness: Our mangrove education & awareness programme is an effective instrument for conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystem and also an essential element of sustainable future.  The community awareness meetings has been conducted for men, women and youth and women SHG leaders in project villages as well as to leaders of local self-government. These awareness meetings help the community to understand the importance of mangroves. The community members are also be sensitized on the climate change induced issues such as sea level rise, increased frequency and increased incidences of cyclones, decrease in fish catch and how the mangroves reduce their vulnerability. We are reaching hundred people every month through community awareness campaign on mangroves.  We are also associate with coastal schools and initiate education programmes. Through mangrove school education programme , we have been conducted various programmes such as exposure visit of school students to various mangrove ecosystems, conducted nature study camp for school students and teachers, organise various competitions such as art, debate , essay, quiz etc among school students.    

c. Formation of Village Mangrove Councils: Our experimentation on VMC (Village Mangrove Council) has also been quite rewarding as an appropriate grass root level institutional design for taking this initiative forward and conserving, managing the mangrove forest in a sustainable manner. Each VMC has a general body and executive body. The General Body (GB) is constituted with adult male and female representative of each household and acts as the decision making body. The Executive Committee (EC) consisting of selected representatives from the GB. The office bearers such as President, Secretary and Treasurer elected from the EC. The EC is the planning and implementing body in village level. The objectives of VMCs are (i) To provide a platform for the people to participate in the project planning, implementation, monitoring and sustaining initiatives, (ii) to provide opportunity for women and marginalized community in decision making and (iii) to create ownership of all project activities implemented in the village. APOWA is facilitating the VMCs to take leadership and drive a consistent conservation message, taking proper managing and maintaining transparency through joint bank account operating, at all time of the initiative, resources whether is monetary, training opportunity or technical expertise in all sections of the community.

d. Collaboration and Advocacy: We cannot achieve success in mangrove resources conservation by working alone: we must collaborate with governments, institutions and other organizations in order to meet our goals.  We have been collaboration with various other organizations like Mangroves For the Future (MFF) ,IUCN, Wetland International South Asia(WISA), Wetland Link International, Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) (world bank funded project), CEE (Centre for Environment Education), UNDP(United Nation Development Programme), GEF(Global Environment Facility), Mangrove Forest Division (Wildlife), Rajnagar, Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, Commonwealth Foundation, Rufford Small Grants Foundation. Apart from that, we are working closely with Village Mangrove Councils (VMC), local schools, youth groups, and women SHGs, media personnel, NGOs, local Panchayat etc. The engagement of all those partners created a lively working environment while raising interest in third parties and the other local villages in the initiative. The initiative strengthened the collaboration between the government, funding agencies, NGOs and   communities and serves as a successful model for continued joint conservation initiatives.

e. Promotion of Alternative Sustainable Livelihood for Mangrove Forest Dependent Communities: We are supporting innovations in appropriate technologies, capacity building training, skill development and promotion of sustainable alternative livelihood. We are promoting alternative livelihood through SHGs. By implementing alternative livelihood programs, we help rural communities enhance their income and sustainability – rather than destructive – practices. We have been promoted alternative livelihood of mangrove forest dependant families.   


Odisha Mangrove Action Network (Odi-MAN)

The mangroves are very important to the lives and livelihood of the local communities. So for successful conservation and sustainable management of mangroves, the active participation of local communities is very imperative. So we are continue facilitate community members to form village level institution/committee i.e., Village Mangrove Council (VMC) in new villages and strengthening existing VMCs for sustainable management and conservation of mangroves. We facilitated federation of 48 VMCs along with representative from NGOs, Community Based Organisations(CBOs), experts, teachers, researchers etc. to an apex body in the name of “Odisha Mangrove Action Network (Odi-MAN)” with a view to enhance their lobbying and advocacy capacities for conserving and restoring the mangroves in the region. The network has been serving as an important tool to implement community managed mangrove conservation initiatives all over the Odisha state. In essence, the networks, together with other stakeholders are convergence with potential agencies to function better.  


Model Mangrove Village:

APOWA has been maintaining a Model Mangrove village i.e. Badkot of Kendrapara district in association with local community members and Maa Kharakhai Village Mangrove Council, Badkot. The agricultural field, grass land, mangrove resources surrounded the village have been maintained properly. APOWA has been restored 20 ha. of degraded mangrove forest around this village. This forest now protecting some rare and endangered species of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, fish, etc. The biodiversity have increased i.e. fish, shrimps, many bird species like kingfisher, heron, etc, crocodile were reported coming back after some years. King cobra absent for many years now reappears. Income level of villagers increased due to increase of fisheries resources. In this village, we are also maintaining a mangrove nursery with the capacity of hundred thousands of saplings produce at any time and distribute mangrove saplings to neighbouring villages in every year. We are linkages with other institutions, school & college students, researchers, organizations etc and used as a tool in ways to successfully restore and conserve mangroves.

Way Forward...

The mangrove issues are complex and its management solutions is very challenging, especially in coastal areas of Odisha. We cannot achieve success in mangrove resources conservation by working alone: we must collaborate with governments, institutions and other agencies in order to meet our goals. APOWA’s rooting in the coastal area; expand on its work of advocacy, networking, coordinate mangrove conservation, education, sustainable livelihood initiatives and most notably our mangrove restoration programme raced forward. APOWA’s relationships with community and stakeholders that have sustained and enabled us to lead the way towards our mission on mangroves.



Our works & achievements

Awards & recognitions

Receiving 12th Bhagwan Mahaveer Award 2008 from Hon'ble President of India.

Our Team

Our core team members and advisors .                    

Our work

APOWA is continuosly works towards animal welfare, mangrove conservation etc..

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