Lakshadweep could face major coastal erosion due to rising sea levels: study

Context: Environmental impact of climate change on sea-level rise in Lakshadweep Islands. 

News: A group of scientists carried out a study to gauge the impact of climate change on sea-level rise in Lakshadweep islands 

What are the findings of the study? 

Some key findings: 

  • Sea levels around Lakshadweep are estimated to rise between 0.4 mm and 0.9 mm annually, causing coastal erosion in many of the islands, and possibly submerging the smaller islets. 
  • All islands will be affected by the sea level rise. 
  • Islands Chetlat and Amini are expected to face major land-loss. The island Minicoy and capital Kavaratti are also vulnerable to sea-level rise and expected to experience land-loss along 60% of the existing shoreline.  
  • The only airport in the archipelago, located on the southernmost tip of Agatti island, is likely to experience damage due to inundation. 
  • Fisheries, agriculture, and tourism are the three main economic sectors of the islanders, all of which are also vulnerable. 
Why this is a cause of concern? 

Lakshadweep Islands are already facing the impact of sea level rising which is taking place even now. But while many countries have coastal protection measures in place, and even India does have some coastal protection measures, these are not sufficient.  

Why are Lakshadweep Islands facing increased vulnerability to rising sea level and erosion? 

Lakshadweep group of islands face this heightened vulnerability due to its unique land use pattern wherein most of the residential areas occur along the periphery of the islands and cultivation in the center.  

What measures can government take? 

There are two kinds that the government can adopt –  

  • Soft measures, that is, the creation of mangroves, which is more effective 
  • Hard engineering solutions including the building of sea walls – a proposition which is extremely expensive. 

SourceIndian Express 

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