Enviros push for green reconstruction in wake of tsunami

As tsunami relief efforts continue and plans for rebuilding begin, enviros hope sensible ecological practices will be taken into consideration. World Wildlife Fund on Monday called for careful coastal planning as reconstruction efforts get underway, as well as an end to over-logging in the region and protection for local fishers who may face competition from opportunistic outsiders. WWF emphasized the role of natural buffers such as coral reefs, marshes, and forests in limiting the impact of the tsunamis. “Healthy ecosystems can save lives,” said Isabelle Louis, the group’s Asia-Pacific director. V. Selvum, a project director of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, said that mangrove-restoration projects in the region, which have restored some 37,000 acres of the swampy groves along the coastline, saved hundreds of families in fishing villages from the tsunami’s fury.