Daily News Analysis For UPSC
Coastal Erosion is the process of wearing away of the land by the sea due to corrosion, abrasion, hydraulic action, attrition and corrosion/solution.
India has a long coastline of 7,516.6 km giving it a large coastal area. Due to high polulation growth, increasing maritime trade and enormous pace of developmental activities, the settlements and associated infrastructure is moving closer to the seas. Such usage of coastal land is often done without properly understanding the coastal dynamics, leading to long-term damage, majorly to the local communities.
Various reasons responsible for Coastal Erosion are:
- Wave Energy
- Climate Change
- Strong littoral driftt
- Construction dams in catchment areas
- Sand and coral mining and dredging
Measures to deal with Coastal Erosion:
- Construction of saline stone-packaging and breakwater structures
- By constructing low walls called groyne
- By installing Geo-Synthetic Tubes
- By growing more vegetation along the coastline
- Encouraging Social Forestry
- Encouraging conservation activities, educational and recreational opportunities (Eco-development)
The coastal regions where land and water meet are ecologically dynamic and sensitive regions, as marine and coastal ecosystems continuously impact on each other. These regions has rich ecosystem such as mangroves, water bodies, seaweeds coral reefs, fisheries and other marine life, and other coastal and marine vegetation. These ecosystems protect the region from saline winds, cyclones, tsunami waves etc., promote carbon sequestration and promote biodiversity as well as provide raw materials for a number of manufacturing activities. Hence, this is an alarming situation for us to overcome from the coastal erosion.
India’s Efforts towards Coastal Management
India’s efforts towards coastal development were initiated in 1997, when Government of India implemented the Environment Management Capacity Building (EMCB) programme for 5 years, funded by the International Development Association through the World Bank. Since then, India has made continued efforts in this direction.
Currently, Ministry of Earth Sciences is responsible for monitoring the shoreline changes along the Indian coast on an annual basis. According to MoES,
1. 89% of the shoreline of Andaman and Nicobar islands is eroded by the Bay of Bengal.
2. The shoreline of Tamil Nadu facing the process of accretion (a gradual deposition by water of mud, sand to form dry land), that causes 62% of its coast gaining land.
A National Centre for Coastal Research under Ministry of Earth Sciences is an attached office in MoES dedicated to coastal research. NCCR is mandated to promote research and addressing issues related to coastal processes, ecosystems, shoreline erosion, pollution, hazards and coastal vulnerability.
The major activities of the centre are as follows:
1. Coastal Processes & Hazards
2. Coastal Water Quality
3. Coastal Habitats & Ecosystems
4. Capacity Building & Training
Another research institute, National Institute for Sustainable Coastal Management works under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Its mission and role: To support integrated management of coastal and marine environment for livelihood security, sustainable development and hazard risk management by enhancing knowledge, research and advisory support, partnerships and network and coastal community interface