Nearly 22,490 tonnes of carbon is sequestered annually by trees that are outside the forest area in Mumbai, concluded a study conducted by the World Resource Institute (WRI) India.
The findings were presented during a webinar as part of the Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP) of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Lubaina Rangwala, Associate Director at the Urban Development and Resilience – WRI, India, said that primary data has been analysed by studying the density of trees in each of the municipal wards. Speaking at the webinar, Rangwala said that wards that have high population density usually have smaller green covers.
“The study has been conducted by recording total areas in acres covered by the trees outside forest areas in all of the 24 municipal wards in Mumbai,” Rangwala said.
The data presented during the webinar revealed that areas like Borivli, Goregaon and Chembur have the highest areas in acres that are being covered by trees. While areas like Sandhurst Road, Marine Lines and Grant Road have the lowest tree density.
“The carbon absorption will be higher in places that have more trees while in places that have lower green cover will also record lower sequestering of carbon,” Rangwala said.
During the webinar, city-based environmentalists had also urged the BMC administration to assimilate independent environmentalists as advisors in its committee.
“There is a lack of holistic planning when it comes to maintaining balance in the environment and carrying out development works in Mumbai,” said Stalin D, environmentalist and Director of NGO Vanashakti, who was one of the panelists in the webinar.
He said that development works are taking place in intertidal areas and beaches are being filled with tetrapods which eventually is affecting marine life.
“The BMC needs to have independent members on its panel who are not dependent on the administrative agencies in any manner so that these experts can point out the mistakes the authorities commit in the planning stage,” he said.
Environmentalist Debi Goenka said that the BMC needs to rethink the way in which trees are planted in gardens and open spaces.
“Instead of planting exotic trees, more native trees should be planted in the gardens and open spaces. For this, a proper study of the trees needs to be conducted by the administration,” said Goenka.