New Financing for Tsunami Devastated Areas

Sweden is among a group of countries that have pledged new financial support to mangrove conservation for the coastal areas devastated by the 2004 Asian tsunami at a special meeting held by former US President and special UN envoy for the tsunami recovery, Bill Clinton.

The World Conservation Union and the U.N. Development Program launched the $62 million US dollar mangrove conservation plan last month.

The five-year project will fund ecosystem restoration and sustainable development in the countries affected by the tsunami which left more than 213,000 dead.

Germany, Australia, the UNDP and the UN Environment Programme also pledged new financial support to the tune of 10 million US dollars to the programme.

Experts say coastal areas with mangroves fared better that open shoreline in the the 2004 tsunami and planting mangroves in the effected areas has widely been considered one way to promote environmental awareness and employ locals.

But experts say despite tens of thousands of seedlings that have been planted, costal mangroves forests are still on a steady decline around the Indian ocean.

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