Blueprint for coastal zone management

BHUBANESWAR: Coastal zones being the most dynamic and vulnerable to vagaries of climate change, experts from coastal states of the country congregated here on Friday to begin preparation of a long term integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) plan.

The ICZM Project is funded by the World Bank and representatives of almost all the coastal states of the country including Andaman and Nicobar Islands took part in the ICZM planning process for their respective states.

Under the ICZM Plan, the objective is to balance multiple human activities and demands on coastal space as well as resources with the protection of the coastal systems. Coastal zones are known to be subject to far-ranging environmental and socio-economic influences and their sustainable management is essential for long term economic growth which was echoed by the experts at the two-day workshop.

Forest and Environment Minister Debi Prasad Mishra dealt with the issue in detail. “Livelihood is an important issue in integrated management of coastal zone. Where biodiversity conservation measures constrain fishing activities, alternate livelihood sources need to be found out to the dependent coastal communities,” he said after inaugurating the workshop organised by ICZM Project, Odisha in association with National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM).

Project Director Dr Ajit Patnaik said, an integrated management strategy is essential to ensure wise use of coastal resources, maintenance of biodiversity, conservation of critical habitats and maintenance of their ecological integrity. His views were echoed by Dr PB Rastogi, PD, National Project Management Unit. The ICZM framework should provide alternatives for multi-sectoral activities, multi-stakeholder and conflict resolution consultation, disaster mitigation as well as climate change adaptations, he said.

Tapas Paul, Team Task Leader of World Bank called for a systematic approach to identify the key issues involved in management of the coastal zone and development of an appropriate framework for ICZM planning process. International experts such as Prof John Pethick, Gorm Jeppesen and Hans Jacob Vested shared Asian and European experiences. Director of NCSCM Prof R Ramesh, Director Environment Dinesh Singh, PCCF (Kendu Leaf) K Jude Sekar and PD, OSFDP Vinod Kumar also spoke.

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