EGREE Project Area-Eng

The East Godavari River Estuarine Ecosystem (EGREE) encompassing the Godavari mangroves (321 km2) is the second largest area of mangroves along the east coast of India. The area is rich in floral and faunal diversity, and generates significant ecological and economic benefits such as shoreline protection, sustaining livelihoods and carbon sink services. There are 35 species of mangroves, of which 16 are true mangroves and the rest associated mangrove species. This includes one nearly threatened (IUCN) species (Ceriops decandra) and three rare species. There are important nesting sites for migratory turtle species, notably the endangered ‘Olive Ridley’ turtle, the critically endangered ‘Leatherback’ turtle and ‘Green turtle’. The area serves as spawning grounds and as a sanctuary for the growth and development of numerous fin and shell fish. It is an Important Bird Area (IBA) with a recorded population of 266 bird species, of which 93 are migratory. In recognition of its national and global biodiversity significance, a part of the EGREE area is gazetted as Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (CWLS).

In addition to the biodiversity significance of the area, it is also of enormous economic significance.   The last few decades have witnessed rapid economic changes and emergence of large scale production activities in EGREE. Currently the main production sectors operating in the landscape/ seascape are fisheries, aquaculture, salt pans, manufacturing activities such as, oil and gas exploration, fertilizers, edible oil, rice products, tourism and ports. In addition, there is dependency on the mangroves and marine resources by local villagers. These activities are impacting the overall ecological integrity of the EGREE particularly the mangrove ecosystems in CWLS and adjoining areas, with associated impacts on the livelihoods of local people. The existing institutional arrangements in the EGREE are quite inadequate in addressing the biodiversity related issues from a landscape/ seascape perspective.

In order to mitigate the adverse impacts on the landscape a very prestigious project is under implementation with the title GoI-UNDP–GEF Project ‘Mainstreaming Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Conservation into Production Sectors in East Godavari River Estuarine Ecosystem’, Andhra Pradesh under the umbrella programme ‘India GEF Coastal and Marine programme’ (IGCMP) which has started on 1st July 2011 with an outlay of US $ 24,023,636 of which partner managed Government contribution is US $ 18,000,000 while UNDP-managed GEF Grant US $ 6,023,636 for a period of 5 years (2011 June to 2016 March).