According to the Earth Journalism Network, between 1990 and 2016, India witnessed an abrasion of almost around 235 square kilometers in its coastal shorelines, totaling to more than the area of the entire city of Nagpur. Abrasion disasters cause a substantial reduction in land, besides causing environmental damage and loss of life. To protect and preserve its integrity, the government of India and private investors are developing strategies and pilot projects to trigger a turnaround.
Climatic alterations pose huge risk to the seaside region. Coastal region inhabitants have already been battling natural disasters, like floods caused due to rise in the sea level, daunting sea winds, tsunamis and more. Such hazards lead to deterioration in soil quality, abrasion of shorelines, deployment of toxicants and increased precipitation rate.
A self-sustained natural ecosystem has the potential to preserve, as well as replenish, India’s coastal ecology.
The Adani Group’s Bio-Shield project in Gujarat, and the Badakot’s community-built mangrove forest, are some key initiatives in this direction. The inhabitants of Badakot have converted 25 acres of withered land into a lush mangrove forest over the past 12 years. This has kept erosion at bay. A village situated on the periphery of Bhitarkanikaand, it is quite vulnerable to the saline water coming in from the river running alongside the boundary.
But, for its success, it needed government support. The forest department and other related authorities provided seeds, shared techniques and facilitated development. This partnership has been a major contribution to the sustenance and future security of the coastal-ecological community. The initiative is to regularize the illegal projects carried out in the ecologically-sensitive coastal areas, as per the3rd March 2021 report.
Certain rules have been introduced by the Environment Ministry to ensure compensations are paid by the developers for any illegal project in the coastal areas. These compensations would be utilized for the environmental and conservation management plans devised to reverse the damage.
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is one of government’s key initiatives and will be administered through the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) in Puducherry and Lakshadweep as a pilot project.
Identified as a potent tool, MSP will promote the economy as well as the ecology of the area by adopting its integrated and sustainable ocean management strategies.
Through a self-sustained green cover in the Bharuch district, the Adani Group in Gujarat has strengthened its green footprints in line with its philosophy of ‘Growth with Goodness.’ This will be achieved by placing a Bio-shield made of mangrove and non-mangrove plantations in a procession along the coastline. Bio-shield is a green mass which absorbs Co2 and the greenhouse gasses.
An area of 1 kilometer in length and 180 meters in breadth has been marked along the coast in the Tankara village of Jambusar Taluka by the Adani Group in Gujarat. The project is expected to enhance the ecology of the area, employ the locals and surrounding communities, boost fisheries and provide fodder in dry seasons.
The natural cover in the state of Gujarat will be managed and worked by the local force and neighboring communities.