COASTAL REGIONS & ISLANDS

 

India has a long coastline of 7517 km including island territories, and encompasses total 73 districts in the 9 maritime states and 2 Union Territories. The coastal districts house 14.2% of India’s total population. India has been identified as one of the countries which are most vulnerable to the impact of accelerated sea level rise due to global warming:

 

1) India has demarcated vulnerable areas on the coasts and declared them as Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) with restrictions imposed on setting up and expansion of industries, operations and processes in these areas.

 

2) India is also implementing programmes for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). The vision of the project is to build national capacity for implementation of comprehensive coastal management through ecological management, conservation and protection of critical habitats, coastal geomorphology and geology of coastal and marine areas, coastal engineering, socio-economic aspects, policy and legal issues and other related fields in the area of coastal governance.

 

3) Mapping and demarcation of coastal hazard lines for development of emergency response plans is being carried out in all the coastal states and union territories.

 

4) Another initiative to protect coastal livelihood is ‘Mangroves for the Future (MFF)’ coordinated by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in India.

 

5) Similar to Small Island Developing States, the 1,238 Indian islands are vulnerable to loss of coastal wetlands including mangroves and salt water intrusion in fresh water aquifers. With changing climate, islands are highly susceptible to frequent and more intense tropical cyclones and associated storm surge, droughts, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, which will have adverse impact on economy of these islands and health of their inhabitants.

 

6) The Government notified the Island Protection Zone (IPZ) in 2011 with the objective of ensuring livelihood security to the local communities, conserving and protecting coastal stretches, and promoting development in a sustainable manner. The IPZ focuses on disaster risk reduction through bioshields with local vegetation (mangroves) and other soft protection measures, and the conservation of beaches and sand dunes.

 

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