Apple launched a new collaboration with the Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) and Conservation International to safeguard the mangrove environment in Maharashtra’s Raigad district, as well as the livelihoods that rely on it.
Apple will focus on the 2,400-hectare mangrove environment in Raigad district as part of its efforts to help communities throughout the world that are the most affected by climate change. AERF will work with the local community to maintain the mangrove forest, which serves as a vital buffer against climate change, funded by donations from the tech giant.
“Ultimately, the goal of the partnership is to help transition the local economy to one that relies on keeping mangroves intact and healthy,” Apple said in a statement. “The fight against climate change is a fight for the communities around the world, whose lives and livelihoods are most threatened by the crisis, and that’s where we have focused our work from Colombia to Kenya to the Philippines,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives.
Protecting mangrove forests has several advantages, not only in terms of the environment but also in terms of the economy of the fishermen and other populations that live in such areas. Mangroves are natural bio shields, reducing damage to coastal regions during tsunamis and cyclones, which have been on the rise in India in recent years. They also aid in the prevention of sand erosion.
Apple’s donation will also help restore mangroves in a 50-hectare region where they have been seriously deteriorated. It will also buy and distribute portable bio-stoves, which will allow families to cook without having to cut down mangrove trees for firewood.
“To collaborate with Apple and Conservation International is a great opportunity to explore how mangrove conservation and community benefits can go hand in hand. Though mangrove conservation issues are diverse and different in each place, here in our project area, opportunities are also many. Training our young, enthusiastic team as well as local communities for blue carbon will surely help us travel a long way to achieve mangrove conservation in this vibrant coastal area along the Arabian Sea,” said Dr. Archana Godbole, director of AERF.
Apple has been investing in forestry programmes that attempt to remove carbon from the environment while creating a financial return for investors through its $200 million Restore Fund, which it created last year alongside Conservation International and Goldman Sachs.