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Published : July 30, 2011 | Author : shraddhaojha
Category : Environmental Law | Total Views : 6977 | Unrated

Shraddha ojha, student of Nirma University, Ahmedabad.

Implementation of the Costal Zone Management Policy in State of Gujarat

In historical terms, coastal locations have been the favorite destination of population involvements for  defense, commercial and other economic reasons. About 20% of the population of India lives in coastal areas, a larger percentage of this being in coastal cities, such as Mumbai, Chennai and Calcutta. One of the major factors responsible for the degradation of coastal ecosystems is the growth in human population that requires space for settlement and other resources, like soil and water.
The need of Integrated Coastal Management in India is well known, on account of the growing population  pressure due  to  accelerated  urbanization,  itself  fuelled  by  demographic  growth  and industrialization. Fragile coastal ecosystems are simultaneously attacked by organic and chemical pollution and the degradation of natural resources is sometimes irreversible.
The  need  to  consider  equity,  security  and  environment  as  key  elements  for  the  definition  of sustainable development should be defended. Moreover, the complex and conflicting interactions of social equity, human security and environmental sustainability within the social process of shaping and  building  development  for present  and  future  generations  are  important  issues  to  address. Scientific and technological knowledge can make a significant contribution to alleviate and eventually prevent the unsustainable use of natural resources, such as those of coastal zones. There is urgent need for developing a system whereby one can monitor the precious coastal zone of Gujarat by the tool of an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan.
Coastal and Marine Environment
Gujarat state has longest coastline of (1,650 km i.e. 21% of the total coastline of India) among all the maritime states of the country, which makes it strategically serving as natural gateway to India. The Gujarat coast extends from Western Ghats in Valsad to Kori creek on the coast of Kachchh in north. The area of continental shelf of the state is 1,65,000 sq. km. The Gulf of Kachchh and the Gulf of Khambhat are the two Gulfs in Gujarat out of the three Gulfs in the country. Extent of the inter-tidal and high tidal mudflats in the Gulf of Kachchh, the Gulf of Khambhat, the Bhal region and the Rann of Kachchh is exceptionally large. Mudflats, mangroves, marsh vegetation, coral reefs and saltpans cover a major part of the coastal wetland. Geo-morphological and climatic variation is very high on the Gujarat Coast. Rainfall varies from an average high of 2500 mm in the south to only 300 mm in Kachchh. Tidal amplitude is also very high which sometimes exceeds 10m in the Gulf of Khambhat and varies between 3m to 8m in the Gulf of Kachchh.
According to census (2001), about 549 villages with the total population of about one million are situated along the Gujarat coast.   The longest coastline dotted with 41 ports caters to demand & supply of cargo from the nearest maritime countries like Africa, Middle East & Europe. Besides this, the entire northern India and some parts of the central India also serve as hinterland to the ports.
The coastal area, upto 20 km from the shoreline, is 30,022.25 sq. km. consisting of parts of  11 districts and 51 talukas with 59 towns and 2802 villages. Living resources are rich fisheries in the 375 km wide continental shelf, coral reefs around  34 islands in the Gulf of Kachchh and mangrove vegetation on swampy lands around the coast. Gujarat produces 71 percent of national production of common salt.
1.  Mangroves
Coastline of Gujarat was once dotted with mangroves, along the Gulfs of Kachchh and Khambhat and along the south Gujarat coastline. Mangroves in Gujarat are second only to the Mangroves in the West Bengal on the East Coast in terms of area, occurring in about 936 sq. km (FSI, 2005) area in Gujarat. Mangroves play a very significant role in maintaining the coastal environment, reducing the impact of wave action and erosion in the coastal areas, preventing salinity and seawater ingress into the inland agricultural areas, and also providing protection to the coastline from the impact of cyclones. Apart from these ecological functions, mangroves play a very significant economic role in the lives of the coastal village communities. The villagers are dependent on mangroves mainly for fodder, fuel-wood and fishing activities.
There has been degradation of the mangroves in Gujarat over the years. The reasons for this are many, like the dependency of the local and nomadic pastoralist communities on the mangroves for fodder, fuel, diversion of mangrove areas to industries, salt pans, and construction of ports, jetties, reduction in natural regeneration and dying off of the rich mangroves because of decreased influx of fresh water into the mangrove areas, due to construction of dams, both small and big in upstream areas.
2.  Coral & Coral reefs
High species diversity and very high rate of biological productivity make coral reefs very important and unique marine ecosystem. Apart from a significant role as carbon sink, they also provide habitat and food for fishes, crabs, prawns and other marine life. Sponges, Polychaetes, Sea Anemones, Octopus, Star Fish, Puffer Fish, Cat Fish, Coral Fish, Bonellia, Sabela, Sea Urchin, Pearl Oyster, Prawns, Crabs, Lobster and Turtles represent notable fauna that lives in association of the coral reef. Reefs are also recognized as breeding and nursery ground for marine life, including fishes. The ornamental aquarium fish species that decorate the aquaria world over occur on the coral reefs.
Major coral reefs in Gujarat are found only along the Jamnagar Coast of Gulf of Kachchh. It is one of the four major coral reef areas of India. Coral reefs in the Gulf of Kachchh are the northern most in the Indian Ocean, but they are geographically isolated. Many islands in the Gulf support fringing reefs. At present, coral reef area is estimated to be about 460 sq. km.
3.  Avifauna
The avifauna of the project area is represented by 130 species belonging to 94 genera and 47 families. The proportion of marine avifauna is more due to coastal region and saltpans.
4.  Intertidal and Sub-tidal Biota
The intertidal area (also called the littoral zone) is where the land and sea meet, between the high and low tide zones. This complex marine ecosystem is found along coastlines worldwide. It is rich in nutrients and oxygen and is home to a variety of organisms.
i. Primary Production
Phytoplanktons are primary producers in marine ecosystem. Water balance in the Gulf of Kutch is negative with evaporation being the dominant control over the sum of rainfall and river runoff. Primary production in gulf of Kutch is moderate with 31 genera and 41 species of phytoplankton (GES  (March  1999)),  In  that  most  common  species were  Nitzschia,  Navicula,  Thallasionema, Thallasiosira and Coscinodiscus, while species like Cocolithoporidesm, Cyclotella etc. were rare. The primary production exhibited temporal and spatial variability with seasons and tidal phases.
ii. Secondary Production
The  zooplanktons  are  secondary  producers  in  marine  ecosystem  which  is dependent  on phytoplankton’s. The Gulf of Kachchh is moderately rich in zooplanktons with frequent occurrences of high standing stock of organisms. The inner Gulf sustained a higher rate of zooplankton production. The composition was fairly diverse and consisted mainly of copepods and decapods. The other major groups  were  Chaetognaths,  Siphonophores,  Medusae, Amphipods,  Polychaetes  and  fish  eggs. Contribution of decapods was more in the inner gulf with decrease in diversity. The rich crustacean 
fauna, particularly the high population of Streptocephalus, provided a congenial feeding ground for prawns and fishes.
iii. Benthos
The density & biomass of Macro & Micro benthic fauna is moderate to good in Gulf of Kutch and western part of Saurastra. The Population of both is dominated by foraminiferans, polychaetes, moluscs gastropods and crustaceans.
The Gulf of Khambhat is an area of large tidal amplitudes with the associated strong tidal currents. These result in suspension and re-suspension of bottom sediments continuously in the homogenous waters of the Gulf and high concentration of TSS in water. Only coarse sand with some silt settles inside the Gulf and depositing them on 350 km wide continental shelf.   Hardly any benthic organism can settle in this environment.
iv. Marine Algae. 
The long stretches of rocky, coralline and limestone substrata of both intertidal and shallow subtidal waters along Gujarat coast and more particularly Saurashtra coast is dominated by assemblage of diverse seaweed communities Gujarat coast harbors around 210 species of marine algae having an estimated biomass of >1,00,000 tones (fresh weight) year-. The gulf contributes to the maximum number of species and biomass level as well for the West Coast of India.
Several species of seaweeds from the Gulf region are being harvested commercially. These are Gelidiella  acerosa and  Gracilaria  dura  as  Agarophytes:  Sargassum  spp,  Cystosiera  spp  and Turbinaria spp as Alginopytes and Hypnea,  Halymenia as carrageenophytes. The shoreline of the southern coast has gradual slope with high tidal amplitude and moderate wave action.
These are ideal conditions to undertake commercial cultivation for Kappaphycus alvarezii which is economically important seaweeds.
 1. Laws and Policies & status of implementation of coastal zone management plan in Gujarat
 Coastal Laws and Policies and geographical limit of the coastal zone
The coastal zone management a dynamic process in which a coordinated strategy is developed and  implemented for the allocation of environmental, social culture and institutional resources to achieve  the conservation and sustainable multiple use of the coastal zone. Gujarat Coastal zone is having global as well as national importance due to its proximate location from Gulf countries. The coastal area in Gujarat mainly cover coastal land (Mudflats, Sand dunes and others) and the coastal waters, which are regulated by a major National legislation “Environmental Protection Act,1986”.  In addition to this, two major laws are also applicable namely The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974,  Coastal  Regulation  Zone-1991  and  Biodiversity Act  -2002.  The  above  laws  are discussed below in brief.
i. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
The water pollution act includes all basic aspects, means and mechanisms to deal with the water pollution control.  The jurisdiction of this act has been restricted up to 5 km in the sea. The state as well as central pollution control board is the authority to deal with this act in the country.
ii. Environment Protection Act, 1986
The Environment Protection Act is one of the leading environment legislations which deals with the basic aspects of environment in the country. This act deals with the pollution aspects of air, water, land, hazardous substance, industrial emissions and other wastes (Solid, Biomedical etc). This act is applicable to the entire terrestrial area as well as offshore areas of coastal zone in India. The State as well as Central Pollution Control board are regulatory authorities.
iii. Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 1991
In accordance with the notification of Ministry of Environment & Forest, Government of India under  the Environment Protection Act (1986), declaring coastal stretches as Costal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and regulating activity in CRZ. It also states that all State Governments should identify and classify CRZ  areas  in  their  respective territories  in  accordance  with  the  guidelines  given  in  the  said notification.
Definition of Coastal Regulation Zone
    The coastal area is defined as that stretch of land mass and water mass along the shoreline which are in close proximity to each other in terms of physiographical and biological effects.
    For all developmental and ecological purposes, costal land is considered as that stretch of land from low tide line to 500 m from High tide line
    The High tide line, as defined in the notification, is the line on the land upto which the highest water line reaches during the spring tide.
    The Distance up to which development along rivers, creeks and back water is regulated shall be governed by the distance up to which the tidal effect of sea is experienced in river creeks or back waters, as the case may be.
    The distance from the high tide line shall apply to both side in the case of rovers, creeks and back waters and may be modified on a case by case basis for reasons to e recorded while preparing the coastal zone management plan. However, this distance shall not be less than 50 mt or width of the creek, river or back water whatever is less.
These zones have been categories into four zones namely CRZ I (Ecologically sensitive areas like mangroves, coral reef, NP & MNP & S, Wildlife habitat, coastal wetlands), CRZ II (Areas developed close to shoreline), CRZ III (Rural coastal areas and coastal areas within municipal limits or in the legally designated urban areas which are not suitably built up) and CRZ IV (Includes small islands in the state).
Coastal Regulation Zone notification 2011
Apart from codifying the 25 amendments that were made to CRZ notification between 1991-2009, the CRZ notification (2011) has several new features –
*It has special provisions for Goa, Kerala, Greater Mumbai and critically vulnerable coastal areas (CVCAs) like Sunderban mangrove area, Chilka and Bhitarkanika (Orissa), Gulf of Khambat and Gulf of Kutch (Gujarat), Malwan (Maharashtra), Karwar and Kundapur (Karnataka), Vembanad (Kerala), Coringa, East Godavari and Krishna Delta (Andhra Pradesh), Gulf of Mannar (Tamil Nadu).
*Clear procedures for obtaining CRZ approval with time-lines have been stipulated along with post-clearance monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.
*Water area up to 12 nautical miles in the sea and the entire water area of a tidal water body such as creek, river, estuary etc., would now be included in the CRZ areas, without imposing any restrictions of fishing activities.
*The concept of a Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP), to be prepared with the fullest involvement and participation of local communities, has been introduced.
*The concept of a hazard line to be demarcated over the next five years has been introduced to protect life and property of local communities and infrastructure along coastal areas.
Some of the prohibited activities within the CRZ as per the present notification include -

* Setting up of new industries and expansion of existing industries except -
# Those directly related to waterfront or directly needing foreshore facilities;
# Projects of Department of Atomic Energy;
# Facilities for generating power by non-conventional energy sources and setting up of desalination plants in the areas not classified as CRZ-I(i) based on an impact assessment study including social impacts.;
# Development of green field airport already permitted at Navi Mumbai;
# Reconstruction, repair works of dwelling units of local communities including fishers in accordance with local town and country planning regulations.

* Setting up and expansion of fish processing units including warehousing except hatchery and natural fish drying in permitted areas:
* Land reclamation, bunding or disturbing the natural course of seawater.
* Setting up and expansion of units or mechanism for disposal of wastes and effluents
* Discharge of untreated waste and effluents from industries, cities or towns and other human settlements. The concerned authorities shall implement schemes for phasing out existing discharge of this nature, if any, within a time period not exceeding two years from the date of issue of this notification.
* Dumping of city or town wastes including construction debris, industrial solid wastes, fly ash for the purpose of land filling. The concerned authority shall implement schemes for phasing out any existing practice, if any, shall be phased out within a period of one year from date of commencement of this notification.

The notification includes the following annexures –
* Guidelines for preparation of Coastal Zone Management Plans
* List of petroleum and chemical products permitted for storage in [CRZ except CRZ-I(A)]
Guidelines for development of beach resorts or hotels in the designated areas of CRZ-III and CRZ-II for occupation of tourist or visitors with prior approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
The Prohibited and regulated activities in these zones are:
Prohibited Activities

I. Setting up of new industries and expansion of existing industries, except those directly related to waterfront or directly needing foreshore facilities.
II .Manufacture or handling or storage or disposal of hazardous substances, except specified petroleum products in port areas.
III. Setting up and expansion of fish processing units including warehousing, excluding hatchery and natural fish drying in permitted areas and expansion of existing fish processing units for modernization purposes.
IV .Setting up and expansion of units/mechanisms for disposal of wastes and effluents, except facilities required for discharging treated effluents into the water course and storm water drains.
V. Discharge of untreated wastes and effluents from industries, cities or towns and other human settlements and dumping of city or town wastes.
VI. Dumping of ash or any wastes from thermal power stations.
VII. Land reclamation, bounding or disturbing the natural course of sea water except:
VIII. Mining of sands, rocks and other substrata materials, except those rare minerals not available outside CRZ.
IX. Harvesting or drawl of ground water and construction of mechanisms therefore within 200 m of  HTL  except when  done  manually  through  ordinary  wells  for  drinking,  horticulture, agriculture and fisheries in the 50 m to 200 m zone.
X. Construction activities in ecologically sensitive area.
Regulation of permissible Activities
In accordance with the Govt. of India’s notification, the following activities shall be regulated by Government of India.
Activities :
i. Defense requirement
ii. Construction of Ports and harbors and Light House
iii. Thermal Power Plants (Infrastructure on Foreshore)
iv. Construction of Beach Resorts/hotels
v. Other activity directly related to water front or directly needing foreshore facilities with investment exceeding Rs. 5. 0 crores.
The following permissible activities are to be regulated by the State Government:
i. Activities not listed above
ii. The activities other than construction of beach resorts/hotels listed above but involving an investment of less than Rs. 5 corers.
iii. Construction facilities for carrying treated effluents, sea water for cooling purpose, Oil and gas and similar other pipelines/structures.
iv. Expansion of existing activities including industries, foreshore infrastructural facilities for thermal power plant, wind farms etc towards land ward side.
Other Acts
The other act also deal with the coastal zone are described below
iv. Wildlife Protection Act -1972
The act provides for the protection of wild animal, birds and plants and for matters connected with wildlife. The schedules in the act specified by the degree of protections which has been granted to the animals included in a particular schedule. The Whale Shark, Dugong are some of the species listed in Schedule I is found in the coastal areas of Gujarat.
v. Forest Conservation Act -1980
This act provides for regulatory framework for forests protection including diversion of forest land for non forestry purpose.
vi. Biodiversity Act -2002
The biological diversity Act 2002 is a law meant to achieve three main objectives
    The Conservation of State Biodiversity
    The Sustainable Use of Biological Resources
    Equity in sharing benefits from such use of resources
In this regard a State Biodiversity Board has been formed in the state of Gujarat.

Institutions Working on Coastal Area of Gujarat
i. Gujarat Ecology Commission - The Commission was constituted by the Department of Forest & Environment in 1992. The main objective of the commission is to work for the restoration of degraded ecosystems. Other work of commission is also involves to strengthen small institution through financial and technical supports.
ii. Gujarat Pollution Control Board - responsible for implementation of water and Air acts.  Monitors pollution levels in industrial effluents and rivers
iii. Gujarat Ecological Education and Research Foundation (GEER)- working towards the  environmental  education and  research  programmer  on  biodiversity  conservation  and management.
iv. Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology (GUIDE) - The institution was set up by the Gujarat  Ecology Commission, mainly to work on the desert ecosystem in the state.
v. Gujarat Ecology Society  (GES)  - The Gujarat Ecology Society  (GES) was created by Gujarat Ecology Commission to work on the costal ecosystem as well as to carry out the research studies in the areas like other ecosystems.
vi. MSUniversity, Saurashtra University and South Gujarat University
vii. Gujarat Maritime Board
viii. Biodiversity Board
         Industries Functioning on the Gujarat Coast
i.       Mundra Port & SEZ Limited
ii.      Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd etc
iii.     Reliance Industries (India) Ltd.
iv.     Essar Oil Ltd.
v.      Industries engaged in various products like Soda Ash, Cements, Steel etc
Current Capacity Building Programs-achievements and limitations
There have been efforts for the implementation of the Coastal Zone Management Plan in Gujarat. There is Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority for the management of these affairs. Under the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan various institutions working for this goal would have to increase their capacity for fulfilling the proposed programs.
The present capacity of the institutions shall have to be first studied in detail in terms of their ability to overcome various activities proposed under the ICZM, in the next step the detailed assessment of the activities would be done in the Detailed Project Report and accordingly the required capacity building for various projects shall be done for the execution of the projects.
i. Achievements
The  Govt.  of  Gujarat  already  has  many  well  equipped  and  well  trained  departments  for  theimplementation of the Coastal Zone Management Plan. These various institutions that are to be involved in the implementation of the Coastal Zone Management Plan in the State of Gujarat, along with the Gujarat Ecology Commission as the Nodal Agency.
Various  institutions  such  as  the  Gujarat  Pollution  Control  Board (GPCB),  Gujarat  Ecological Educationand Research Foundation (GEER Foundation), the Jamnagar Municipal Corporation (JMC) .
ii. Limitations
In regards to various capacities building programs to be initiated there have been some efforts involve the private sectors such as the industries and the port authorities in the coastal zone management planning process.

Keeping in mind the long coast of the State it is very difficult for the Govt. to implement the coastal Zone management Plan in isolation and therefore there is a immediate need for involving the people, the Stake holders, the Non Government Organizations and the Community Based Organizations in to the implementation process.
The Coast of Gujarat is very long with two gulfs and has various other characteristics all along whichmakes  it  very  difficult  for  the  implementing  agency  to  formulate  a  single  policy  for  theimplementation of the Coastal Zone Management plan, there need to be setups at local level and regional level so that the local level implementation needs can be fulfilled.                                                                                                                                            
Key Issues in Coastal Zone management in Gujarat
i. Coastal Resources - Conservation and Management
a. Degradation of Mangrove covers in the Gulf of Kachchh
Probable causes
High salinity ingression
Cutting of mangrove trees for fuel and cattle grazing
Construction and operation of ports, jetties and industries proximity to mangrove forest
Sea water intrusion
Vulnerable of natural hazards
Information Gaps
Reasons of increased salinity and soil water intrusion
Impact of building and construction activities close to mangrove area
Change in use of land
Availability of breeding space for marine ecosystems
Alternative sources fodder and fuel
General development control regulations for construction and development activities
Need  for  appropriate  mechanism for  monitoring the  health  of  the  mangroves  by latest
information techniques
Involvement of local population in the conservation of mangroves and establishment of model
farms involving local people
Public - Private Partnership in mangrove afforestation programme
Degradation of coral reefs
Probable causes

Sedimentation, exploitation and oil pollution
Information Gaps
Impact of development activities
Impact of oil pollution due to SPMs and movement of ships
Pollution due to disposal of untreated domestic sewage and industrial effluent
Re commendation
Monitoring of marine environment by using latest information techniques
Preservation of existing coral reef by creating buffer zones
Afforestation of mangrove plants in nearby areas to trap the suspended sediments
Creating awareness on benefits of coral reef on eco-system
Identification of potential areas for transplantation of corals
Sustainability of fishing industries of Gulf of Kachchh
Over utilization of fishing activities cause deterioration marine ecosystems
i.Coastal Environment - Monitoring and Preservation
a.Impact assessment of ongoing and future developmental activities
All the developmental projects setting up on the coast conduct the EIA, EMP to deal with the studies including environment impacts.
b. Impact of direct disposal of solid waste, domestic sewerage and industrial effluent in sea water
Some of the coastal municipalities and corporations on the Gujarat coast have some facilities to treatment
sewage however these need to strengthen to a compatible level.
c. Oil spill threats due to transport and handling of oil by ships and SPM, respectively
Lack of modeling study on the movement of oil spills
Dispersion of oil discharged from activities of ships and SPMs of oil industries in the Gulf areas
Remedial measures to minimize discharge RTDF
Oil spill contingency planning at Regional level (Gulf of Kachchh)
d. Zoning  of  land  and marine areas in  the  Gulf of  Kachchh to promote sustainable environmental management
Need for complete information on physics, chemistry, biology, geology, geomorphology, atmosphere and resources (air, water, land) of the hinterland and Gulf of Kachchh
 e. Vulnerability against Natural Disaster
Preparation of Disaster Management Plan with consideration of all vulnerability against cyclones, flood, tsunami, storms, etc.
ii. Participation of local people and coastal communities in CZM activities
a. Abandon of coastal communities during Impact assessment of development activities
Stipulation of guidelines under relevant Acts/Notification to ensure complete participation of coastal communities (local people) in all consultation process while...
Planning impact assessment and operation development activities
Incorporate integrated management approach for implementation of any CZM plans
b. Creation of awareness among policy makers, planners, stakeholders and local people about  benefits of  integrated  management  of  coastal  and  marine  area  to  ensure formulation and adoption of proposed ICZM plan for Gulf of Kachchh
Educate  local  people  on  advantages  of  adoption  of  integrated  approach  for  long-termsustainability of dependant resources.
Integration of various development plans prepared by concern govt. agencies in ICZM
Evaluate conflicting sectoral policies in developmental and regulatory activities and suggest an appropriate policy framework for ICZM plan
iii. itutional arrangement and capacity building
a. Institutional arrangement for implementation of ICZM Plan and its monitoring and
Need for a dedicated set up under proposed Nodal Agency for implementation of ICZM plan
Ensure plan has legal coverage for implementation by all concern authorities
b. Capacity building of concern agencies evolved in formulation and implementation of
CZM plan
 1.  Important Activities implemented in the Last 10 years
Various activities have been implemented in the State in the last few years by various agencies for themanagement and conservation of the Coastal Zone of Gujarat.
i. In terms of Coral and Coral Reef Conservation
i.   GEER Foundation has been involved in number of marine related research projects that
        include a comprehensive marine biodiversity study for Gulf of Kachchh area. The studies on
        coral reef include a research project on coral health indicators, coral growth and recruitment
        and a pilot project on coral restoration and regeneration.
ii. Evaluation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes on Conservation and Management of Mangroves
    and Coral Reefs.
iii. Recruitment and Growth Study of Corals reefs in the GOK.
iv. Gulf of Kachchh is one of the rare sites where the Coral and Coral reefs are available.
v. Study of coral reef Health Indicators.
i. In terms of Biodiversity
i.The  GEER  foundation  has  worked  in  detail  on  the  various  issues  on  biodiversity  and management in the Marine National Park and Sanctuary located in the Jamnagar District of the Gulf of Kachchh.
ii. Population, Status and Distribution of Dugong in India.
iii. GEER Foundation is also conducting a specie specific project on an endangered marine mammal i.e. Dugong on Indian coast especially on the western coast of Gujarat State in the Gulf of Kachchh.
iv. Study of Pollination Biology and Reproductive Ecology of Major Mangrove Species of Gujarat done by GEER Foundation.
v. The Foundation is carrying out extensive studies on mangrove ecosystem, which involve mangrove biomass study, mapping of mangrove areas on Gujarat coast, mangrove pollination biology.
vi. Mapping and Monitoring of Mangroves in GOK at Community Level.
ii. Mangrove Plantation in the Coastal Areas of Gujarat
The State government has also notified large areas of mudflats as forests for scientific management and increased regulation of anthropogenic activities in the mangrove areas. Thus, in all about 1,32,440 ha. (66,593 ha, 7,770 ha and 58,180 ha in Jamnagar, Rajkot and Kachchh districts respectively) of coastal mudflats in the State have been notified as reserved forests.
iii. In terms of Coastal Information Management System
BISAG  is  the  designated  nodal  agency  for  several  national  and  state  level  projects  including Department  of Space,  Govt.  of  India,  sponsored  NNRMS,  IMSD  project, Wasteland Mapping, Wetland Mapping, CAPE etc.
BISAG’s has been undertaking projects related to Coastal Zones some of which are listed below:
    Coastal Land Use Information System of Gujarat
    Mangrove Atlas of Gujarat
    Atlas for Development of Aquaculture   
    Salt pan Atlas of Gujarat
    Information on Potential Fishing Zones
    Status Of Gujarat Land Use Coastal Information System Project   (Scale of 1:25,000)
   Currently BISAG is preparing the Coastal land use Information System for Gujarat. The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) project mapping is completed as per the requirements of MoEF. The Coastal Land use maps are getting prepared for entire Gujarat on the scale 1:25,000 using IRS data LISS-IV and CARTOSAT-I.
  Cadastral mapping project for the entire state has been accomplished by this institute. For all the villages, land parcels have been geo referenced to high resolution satellite imagery.
    Proposed Coastal Information System For Micro Level Planning
   For planning future activities on the coastal zone of the State, to achieve maximum benefits of vast coastal resources with sustainable development, reliable, continuously updated database giving detailed information  about present condition of  wetland and coastal land use is required.
iv. Activities carried by Gujarat Ecology Commission
Commission has taken up the comprehensive research studies on costal area, which is mentioned here below
    Costal & Marine Environment of Gujarat
    Ecological Degradation in Gulf of Kachchh and Khambhat    
    Status of Coral & Coral Reef in Gulf of Kachchh
    State of Environment Report
GEC has carried out more than 6000 ha of Community based Mangrove Plantation with the help of various organization and industrial partnership in the area of Gulf of Khambaht and Kachchh.
Commission is also involved in the various environmental conservation activities on the coastal zone of the state.

In a world of rapid population growth and diminishing natural resources, each country has to plan for economic growth in balance with resource conservation and environmental management if it is to make progress in health, food, housing, energy and other critical national needs ( "Coastal Zone Management Handbook" J. R. Clark, 1996). In the coastal areas, high population densities, linked with urban growth, expanding tourism and industrialisation, pose major threats to natural resources and biological diversity. The uncontrolled development is destabilising ecosystems, changing land use patterns and are making communities vulnerable to sea storms. Sustainable use is the only alternative to resource depletion that accompanies excessive exploitation for short-term profit. This requires an integrated coastal zone management information system to plan and coordinate all the varied interests in coastal resource uses. 

Gujarat state has about 1600 km, long coast line in the country. It supports a variety of habitats such as mangroves, coral reefs, sea grass beds, algae/ sea weeds, gulfs, estuaries, beaches etc. There are number of activities going on along the coast viz. salt industries, cement industries, import of oil & natural gas besides the pressure of growing population. This puts a tremendous pressure on the coastal zone and thus requires a proper Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for developmental planning to sustain the environment. In view of this, Coastal Zone Information System (CZIS) has been developed. 

Authors contact info - articles The  author can be reached at: shraddhaojha@legalserviceindia.com

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