From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Coastal Regulation Zones
Mains level : Coastal management and development
The Environment Ministry has unveiled a draft plan that will dictate how prospective infrastructure projects situated along the coast ought to be assessed before they can apply for clearance.
- The draft Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) is part of a World Bank-funded project.
- It lays out guidelines for coastal States to adopt when they approve and regulate projects in coastal zones.
- It seeks to assist the Government of India in enhancing coastal resource efficiency and resilience by building capacity for adopting and implementing integrated coastal management approaches
- The document was prepared by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management, a Ministry-affiliated body.
- As per the report, Integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) has to be a continuous process rather than a “one-off” investment action.
- The key activities proposed for coastal zone development include:
- mangrove afforestation/shelter beds
- habitat conservation activities such as restoration of sea-grass meadows
- eco-restoration of sacred groves
- development of hatcheries
- rearing/rescue centres for turtles and other marine animals
- creation of infrastructure for tourism
- restoration and recharge of water bodies
- beach cleaning and development
- small infrastructure facilities
- Livelihood improvement projects include
- demonstration of climate-resilient or salinity resistant agriculture
- water harvesting and recharge/storage
- creation of infrastructure and facilities to support eco-tourism
- community-based small-scale mariculture
- seaweed cultivation
- Environmental and social aspects ought to be integrated into the planning, design, implementation of projects.
- Projects should avoid or minimise impacts on cultural properties and natural habitats, compensate any loss of livelihood or assets, adopt higher work safety standards, occupational and community health and safety
Action so far
- So far three coastal States, Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal, have prepared Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans with support from the World Bank.
- Such plans would be prepared for the selected coastal stretches in other States/UT.
- Inadequate planning has often obstructed coastal zone development projects