KARACHI - During third day of international conference organised by Institute of Sustainable of Sustainable Halophyte Utilization (ISHU), University of Karachi a field trip to the mangrove ecosystems of the Karachi coast was arranged with the help of Pakistan Navy. 

Vice chancellor UoK, Prof Dr M Ajmal Khan, Dr Benno Boer (Advisor Science, UNESCO Thailand), Director ISHU Prof Dr Bilquees Gul and Prof Dr Han W Koyro from Justus Liebig University Giessen of Germany also accompanied the participants on the field trip. Participants of the conference surveyed the mangrove ecosystem in detail and took some useful data about the health of the mangrove plants on many spots.  

 Dr Benno along with Prof Bilquees Gul and ISHU faculty also studied feasibility of establishing floating mangrove forests. Both foreign and national experts agreed that these important ecosystems are under threat of anthropogenic activities and need serious efforts for conservation.  

These mangrove ecosystems are major primary producers, which provide both ecological and economic services. They act as natural nursery of coastal fauna, shield coastlines from erosion by wave action and also protect inland areas during storms and tsunami.  

On this occasion, vice chancellor Prof Ajmal Khan, Director ISHU Prof Bilquees Gul and foreign scientists thanked Pakistan Navy for arranging the useful trip in very short time, which transformed the conference into a practical experience for the participants.  The scientists also lauded the services of Pakistan Navy in conservation of Mangroves in coastal areas. Dr Ajmal Khan and Dr Bilquees Gul also discussed the prospects of collaboration with Pakistan Navy regarding promotion of research on Mangroves.  Pakistan Navy plants around one million mangroves every year which is highly commendable, said Dr Ajmal Khan.