A unique database on mangroves -- the Mangrove Ecosystem Information Service (MEIS) -- developed by the Centre for Research in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (CRSARD) in Madras, will be operational by December. Work on MEIS is being headed by eminent scientist M S Swaminathan. CRSARD will also set up a mangrove genetic resources conservation network with Pichvaram in Tamil Nadu, Bhitarkanika in Orissa, Coringa in Andhra Pradesh and Chorao Island in Goa as its nodal points.
MEIS will comprise a mangrove experts directory (Manex), a mangrove bibliography (Manbib), a mangrove resources and inventory database (Manres) and a mangrove genetic variability database (Manver). Manex will index the names of over 500 experts worldwide, including members of the International Society for Mangrove Ecosystem. Manbib will be a comprehensive list of mangrove literature published by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), updated till 1992.
Manres will provide a resources inventory on a countrywide basis, using the Geographic Information System software. Manres and Manbib will be developed in a microcomputer version of a software package developed by UNESCO. According to Swaminathan, the other packages will be developed on the basis of protocols developed by the International Rice Research Institute in Manila, and the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in Hyderabad.
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