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Coastal Systems Research

The Coastal Systems Research Programme aims at integrating ecological security of coastal areas and livelihood security of coastal communities, in a mutually reinforcing manner, to achieve sustainable management of coastal resources. The ecosystem chosen for this study is mangrove wetland. It is a multiple-use ecosystem and plays a role in mitigating impact of natural disasters such as cyclone, storm surges and tsunami in coastal zones. It provides livelihood to millions of artisanal fishers and acts as a critical habitat for wildlife.

In 1981, Dr. M.S. Swaminathan proposed, at an International Conference on Global Environment and Sustainable Development that mangroves could play a lead role in managing the impact of sea level rise and called for anticipatory research in developing saline tolerant crop varieties using salt-tolerant genes of mangrove plants. This led MSSRF to start its twin strategy of conservation of mangrove wetlands and sustainable utilization of their resources, in 1991.