Trees for Coastal Ecosystems

Villupuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Target Completed
Project Purpose
Trees for Coastal Ecosystem


The plantation project is being implemented in the Kulathoor and Thenpakkam villages located in the Chengalpattu district of Tamil Nadu. 


Enhancement of


Carbon Sequestration

Disaster Mitigation

Increase in

Green Cover

Generation of

Rural Employment

Control Soil Erosion

About the Project

The Chengalpattu district in Tamil Nadu has suffered greatly from a series of natural disasters. In December 2004, Tamil Nadu was hit by the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and suffered severe losses. Nearly 44 hamlets in 30 revenue villages of Chengalpattu District were impacted. Later in 2015, Tamil Nadu faced floods that damaged infrastructure as well as human lives. Livestock, farmland, and everything around the coastal areas of the district was in a devastated state. The rise in the temperature post the flood event caused severe water scarcity in the area. Irregular rainfall and high temperatures have worsened the living condition of villagers. In 2019, the area suffered from a severe drought which aggravated the water crisis.

In an effort to address the vulnerability of the area, restoring the mangroves along the coastal ecosystem promises to be a worthy solution to the challenges faced by the area. 

Mangroves are often overlooked but are extremely crucial to the coastal ecosystems they inhabit. These unique ecosystems act as a buffer between marine and terrestrial communities and protect shorelines from damaging winds, waves, and floods. In addition to restoring the ecosystem and strengthening the biodiversity of the area, mangroves are crucial in the fight against climate change. It is known for its ability to absorb three to four times more carbon than regular trees. A healthy mangrove plantation can also go a long way in supporting the needs of the local communities. 

Why Trees for this Project?

In an article in Mongabay, P. Ragavan of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow highlighted the importance of mangroves. He says, “Mangroves prevent coastal erosion by reducing the height and energy of wind and swell waves passing through them and minimize the impact of natural hazards such as typhoons, cyclones, hurricanes, and tsunamis, helping to shelter lives and assets of coastal communities.”

Another article in Mongabay points out why mangroves deserve our attention and protection. It says, “Although they’re only found in tropical areas and cover an estimated 140,000 square kilometers – less than 3 percent the extent of the Amazon rainforest – mangroves are powerhouses when it comes to carbon storage. Studies indicate that pound for pound, mangroves can sequester four times more carbon than rainforests can. Most of this carbon is stored in the soil beneath mangrove trees.” The article goes to further explain the monetary value that mangroves provide. It states, “Researchers estimate the monetary value of the benefits, or “ecosystem services,” provided by mangroves at $194,000 per hectare annually. Multiplied by their global extent, that means the world’s remaining mangroves provide around $2.7 trillion in services every year.”

Tree Species

At our planting site, we take great care in selecting the types of trees to ensure that they align with the needs of the ecosystem and the local beneficiaries. 

For the coastal ecosystem, we planted the Red mangrove (Rhizophora Apiculata), Asiatic Mangrove (Rhizophora Mucronata) and Grey mangrove (Avicinia Marina). 

The stilt root extract of Red mangrove is popularly used as a mosquito repellent. The wood is also commonly used as pulp to make blotting and corrugating paper. Both the Asiatic mangrove and Grey mangrove are used for timber, its leaves as fodder and the barks for tannin. The seedlings of the Asiatic mangrove are edible and have been used traditionally for medicinal purposes. 

Making a Difference - The Impact of Your Support 

Planting of trees offers numerous benefits that span across multiple aspects.*

Generating Employment
Our project generates employment opportunities for the local communities since we are committed to working closely with them. They are involved in preparing the saplings in the nursery, transportation of the saplings, and plantation and maintenance of the planting site.

The local communities can also earn additional income from the plantation produce, in this case, they can supplement their income from timber and fruits once the tree matures. 

Employment for Women
Tree plantation activities provide employment for women as many women workers participate in our projects.

Fodder for Livestock
Livestock is a major source of sustenance for the local community. Trees will provide ample fodder to meet the needs of their livestock.

Shield against Natural Disasters
Mangroves act as a natural barrier against the impacts of natural disasters. For the coastal communities, it serves as a vital line of defense against environmental threats such as cyclones, heavy rains, and rising sea levels to name a few.

Community Sensitization 
Our projects include a community sensitization component aimed at engaging and educating the local community on the importance of mangroves. These efforts do not only seek to raise awareness but also to encourage sustainable practices that will ensure long-term success. 

Carbon sequestration
Trees do an excellent job absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A mature tree can absorb up to 20 kg of CO2 each year. Trees keep the temperature cool and reduce atmospheric stressors. 

*The environmental benefits of the trees reach their full potential as they mature.


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