Stopping destructive development

Coastal ecosystems are a vital livelihood resource for millions of fishers, a protective barrier against storms, tidal surges and tsunamis and a source of recreation for millions. This makes coastal real estate the most prized for tourism, industries, aquaculture, nuclear and thermal power plants or ports – all of which leave behind a devastated coastal environment. Industry and sections of government are colluding to grab huge swathes of land in coastal India at the cost of local communities, the environment and biodiversity.

An example of coastal land grab is the rampant port proliferation that is changing the Indian coastline. Over 300 ports are proposed for the coast of mainland India – that’s an average of one every 25 km! Many of these are in or near mangroves, mud flats, nesting and breeding grounds for important marine creatures. But do we really need so many ports? Or is this a massive private land grab by gullible or corrupt government planners?

The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification 1991 was originally meant to protect our coasts. It divided the coast into zones of varying ecological sensitivity and prohibited industrial activities in the most sensitive ones. However, over the last 20 years, the notification has been progressively diluted and weakened to suit industrial and ‘development’ interests. Greenpeace is demanding that the CRZ notification be strengthened and implemented so that industries and infrastructure projects can be kept away from the most eco-sensitive areas.

Campaign story

For several years, Greenpeace has been fighting the Tata Steel-L&T Dhamra port in Orissa, as an example of the threat that port development poses to the Indian coast. The port is now built, despite the threat it poses to the Bhitarkanika and Gahirmatha protected areas and species such as the Olive Ridley turtle, Horseshoe crab and Saltwater crocodile. However, it is essential that the mistakes of Dhamra are not repeated – we cannot afford more such ecological disasters.

By focusing on the wrongs of the Dhamra port, Greenpeace has highlighted the threat that ports in general pose to the Indian coast and lobbied for national level measures to ensure that rampant port development is checked.

Greenpeace is therefore demanding that the Ministry of Environment and Forests place protection of the coastal environment and dependent livelihoods above industrial concerns and prohibit the construction of new ports or expansion of existing ones within 25 km. of eco-sensitive areas.

The latest updates

 

Double standards in environment ministry

Feature story | October 18, 2010 at 11:13

“I have taken this decision in a purely legal approach, that these laws are being violated.” - Jairam Ramesh, Minister for Environment & Forests on the Vedanta decision, August 24, 2010.

Minister of Environment and Forest

Image | April 8, 2010 at 11:18

Minister of Environment and Forest, Jairam Ramesh is presented with petitions by Greenpeace volunteers on behalf of over 25,000 people who have asked his ministry to take a stand on Dhamra

Minister of Environment and Forest

Image | April 8, 2010 at 11:18

Minister of Environment and Forest, Jairam Ramesh is presented with petitions by Greenpeace volunteers on behalf of over 25,000 people who have asked his ministry to take a stand on Dhamra

Minister of Environment and Forest

Image | April 8, 2010 at 11:18

Minister of Environment and Forest, Jairam Ramesh is presented with petitions by Greenpeace volunteers on behalf of over 25,000 people who have asked his ministry to take a stand on Dhamra

Minister of Environment and Forest

Image | April 8, 2010 at 11:15

Minister of Environment and Forest, Jairam Ramesh is presented with petitions by Greenpeace volunteers on behalf of over 25,000 people who have asked his ministry to take a stand on Dhamra.

Minister of Environment and Forest

Image | April 8, 2010 at 11:15

Minister of Environment and Forest, Jairam Ramesh is presented with petitions by Greenpeace volunteers on behalf of over 25,000 people who have asked his ministry to take a stand on Dhamra.

Minister of Environment and Forest

Image | April 8, 2010 at 11:15

Minister of Environment and Forest, Jairam Ramesh is presented with petitions by Greenpeace volunteers on behalf of over 25,000 people who have asked his ministry to take a stand on Dhamra.

Ratan Tata to talk turtles with Greenpeace

Feature story | August 27, 2009 at 3:30

Ratan Tata, Chairman of India’s largest business chain, the Tata Group, has agreed to meet Greenpeace representatives for talks on the Orissa Dhamra port-Olive Ridley Sea Turtle controversy. Both sides would fix a date for the meeting.

Analysis of the Turtle Season 2008-2009

Publication | June 30, 2009 at 16:21

In comparison to the previous year (2007-2008), turtle mortality in the Devi region has reduced by a marginal 8%. However, in comparison to the mean average of turtle mortality of 6,280 from 2002 – 2008 (6 turtle seasons), there has been an...

A file photo of turtles nesting

Image | March 26, 2009 at 4:30

A file photo of turtles nesting

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