The coastal environment plays an essential part in a country’s economy by its resources, prolific habitat, and rich biodiversity. India has a coastline of 7516 km, of which the territory represents 5422 km, Lakshadweep coast expands 132 km, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have a coastline of 1962 km. Almost 250 million individuals live within a distance of 50 km from the coast.
The coastline bolsters various financial activities crucial for India’s economy like oil and gas, ports and harbours, power plants, fishing, the travel industry, and also mining that continues to detriment the coastal ecology and environment. At the same time, it is essential to note that Indian coastal stretches are gifted with extremely productive ecosystems that help coastal human populace in multiple ways. It lessens their poverty by providing a wide range of coastal resources. It protects them from natural and human made calamities like erosion, cyclones, storm surges, tsunamis, pollution, etc. Healthy coastal ecosystems are also an efficient and reasonable defense against coastal risk-it further office various alternative livelihood choices for the coastal people.
In light of these realities, it is obvious to embrace a strategy that balances development and environmental welfare. However, it is noticed that climatic change and anthropogenic stress as a resultant of over-urbanization, ill-conceived development, habitat disintegration, overexploitation of resources, contamination from the industry, and the anthropogenic sources are disturbing ecological balance and the services being offered by the coastal ecosystems across the Indian coast, subsequently aggravating the susceptibility of the coastal population to various perils.
Consequently, to improve the adaptive capability of the coastal populace, it is felt fundamental to reestablish ecological balance by including environmental contemplations into coastal planning and governance that can prompt to development upgrade of the elasticity of the natural coastal ecosystem environment and then increasing the diversity of the coastal livelihood.
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors affirmed a $400 million multiyear financing envelope to assist India in augmenting “its coastal resources, protect coastal populations from pollution, erosion, and sea-level rise, and improve livelihood opportunities for coastal communities.”
The first stage of this multi-stage approach (MPA) will give $180 million to Enhancing Coastal and Ocean Resource Efficiency (ENCORE). This is the first utilization of an MPA in India; the strategy is focused on offering long term support for critical development agendas.
The multiyear budgetary assistance responds to the developing need to protect coastal and marine resources throughout the following decade. The program will help secure coastal assets by focusing on the restoration of coastal beaches and mangroves. It concentrates on contamination from untreated waste streams, including plastics, and by assisting for sustainable tourism to boost vulnerable coastal communities.
In Phase 1, ENCORE will cover eight coastal states (Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal) and three seaside Union Territories (Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry), where coastal resources are under significant threat.
The program’s key areas of assistance, depending on the experience and results accomplished in the enduring World Bank-supported Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZM) pilot work in Gujarat, Odisha, and West Bengal. The task has shown adaptable and maintainable models for expanding the profitability of coastal and marine ecosystems and in improving the living opportunities for coastal people. Its accomplishments incorporate the planning and depiction of more than 7,800 km of the Coastal Hazard Line for India’s whole terrain coast dependent on the most recent environmental change projections and support the restitution of 19,500 hectares mangroves as well. This has helped to upgrade coastal carbon sinks and secure coastal resources and communities against climate and catastrophe hazards.
Enhanced coastal management is a significant component of India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, whereby India has consented to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion through added forest and tree cover, including mangroves, by 2030; better adjust to climate change by upgrading investments in a region vulnerable against climate change, including “coastal regions; and invest in cutting-edge climate technology.”
With an objective to support states and Union Territories better deal with their coastal zones, the Program will build their ability to incorporate scientific information in the decision-making process. It will assist the states in setting up State-level Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans (ICZMPs), which will provide support to the Government of India in meeting the need for national coastal and marine spatial planning. It will also create and secure more elusive ‘blue’ assets, such, carbon sequestration, coastal resilience, waste management, and coastal tourism, to assist the coasts in alleviating the impacts of poverty and climate change.
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