[Answered] “Coastal zone management is important for India’s sustainable growth and development.” Comment.

Demand of the question
Introduction. What is Coastal Zone management?
Body. Significance of coastal management for India. Major constraints in CZM.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Coastal zone management (CZM) is a process of managing the coast, in all aspects of the including geographical and political boundaries, to achieve sustainability. India has an exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 2.02 million sq. km and a long coastline of 8,118 km with rich and diverse marine living resources. Coastal zone management is critical for utilising these resources efficiently leading to inclusive growth.

Significance of coastal management for India:

  1. Resources: It is important to enhance coastal resource efficiency and utilisation. Indian Ocean contain vast amount of minerals, including the cobalt, zinc, manganese and rare earth materials. These minerals are needed for electronic industry for manufacturing smart phones, laptops and car components etc. Seawater also contain economically useful salts such as gypsum and common salt. Gypsum is useful in various industries. This would help Make in India initiative.
  2. Environmental Protection: Coastal management include habitat conservation activities such as mangrove afforestation/shelter beds, restoration of sea plants, eco-restoration of sacred groves etc. This is important for security of coastal communities and help in preventing floods.
  3. Sustainable development: Marine resources from Indian Ocean can serve as the backbone of India’s economic growth and can help India to become a $5 trillion economy by 2022. Blue economy, through sustainable use of oceans, has great potential for boosting the economic growth.
  4. Good governance: Coastal management would lead to building of collective capacity of communities and will enhance decentralised governance for adopting and implementing integrated coastal management approaches. This would help in participation of local people leading to good governance which is important for sustainable and inclusive growth.
  5. Tourism boost: Coastal management include creation of infrastructure for tourism, restoration and recharge of water bodies, beach cleaning and development, and other small infrastructure facilities. This is important to promote tourism in environment friendly way.
  6. Employment generation: It will provide jobs, improved livelihoods to many. This will help in inclusive growth. E.g improving fishery resources exploitation can provide livelihood to many. Livelihood improvement initiatives like 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, aquaponics etc. would do value addition to other livelihood activities.
  7. Pisciculture: Marine fisheries wealth around Indian coastline is estimated to have an annual harvestable potential of 4.4 million metric tonnes. Thus coastal management would provide a boost to fishery sector through development of infrastructure.
  8. Energy security: The main energy resources present in Indian Ocean are petroleum and gas hydrates. Petroleum products mainly includes the oil produced from offshore regions. Gas hydrates  are unusually compact chemical structures made of water and natural gas. Along with this tidal energy is also important that would provide electricity to locals.
  9. Food security: It will lead to food security through fishery sector and other sea food resources. It would also help in reducing malnutrition issue in India as fishes are good source of nutrition.
  10. Efficient transportation and logistics: Coastal management include development of infrastructure around the coasts. Coasts are major gateway of trade. Better connectivity in the region will significantly cut the transport cost and will reduce logistics inefficiencies.

Major constraints of coastal zone management in India:

  1. The ‘top-down’ approach of administrative decision making in CZM is a major issue.
  2. Coordination between centre and states and various ministries and departments for efficient coastal development is lacking
  3. Disasters like tsunami pose great danger to coastal infrastructure and communities. It not only jeopardise coastal management efforts but also destroy valuable national assets.
  4. Lack of good weather forecasting technology also add to the loss caused by various disasters.
  5. Increasing climate change lead to rise in sea level that is endangering coastal security and infrastructure.

Coastal Zone management is important to develop and sustainably utilise the coasts for sustainable development. What is required is use of technology, community participation and removal o& bottlenecks like lack of coordination at various levels.

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