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

 

Greenpeace activists blockade Bombay House

Image | August 20, 2008 at 3:30

Greenpeace activists blockade Bombay House, headquarters of the TATA Group, demanding Mr. Ratan Tata halt construction on TATA’s Dhamra port in Orissa, which threatens the olive ridley sea turtles, an endangered species.

The heat is on

Image | May 20, 2008 at 4:30

The heat is on... Greenpeace activists light candles on behalf of 7,000 utterly disheartened TATA customers who don’t want the port to be built at Dhamra. Will Ratan Tata see the light?

The heat is on! Greenpeace activists light

Image | May 20, 2008 at 4:30

The heat is on! Greenpeace activists light candles on behalf of 70,000 hopeful TATA customers who don’t want the port to be built at Dhamra. Will Ratan Tata see the light?

The heat is on! Greenpeace activists light

Image | May 20, 2008 at 4:30

The heat is on! Greenpeace activists light candles on behalf of 70,000 hopeful TATA customers who don’t want the port to be built at Dhamra. Will Ratan Tata see the light?

Gahirmatha's seas are one of the world's

Image | April 8, 2008 at 3:30

Gahirmatha's seas are one of the world's largest breeding areas for the Olive Ridley Turtle. The Dhamra port could signal the end of this habitat forever.

Internationally acclaimed sand sculptor

Image | March 27, 2008 at 11:03

Internationally acclaimed sand sculptor, Sudarshan Patnaik, creates a 7 ft high sculpture of heritage monuments: the Jagannath temple and Konark Sun Temple in Orissa, the Shore temple at Mammalapuram in Tamilnadu, and the Gateway of India at...

Turtle carcasses on the Orissa coastline

Image | March 19, 2008 at 4:30

Turtle carcasses on the Orissa coastline

Turtle carcasses on the Orissa coastline

Image | March 19, 2008 at 4:30

Turtle carcasses on the Orissa coastline

Turtle mortality – Greenpeace sets target for government

Feature story | February 21, 2008 at 10:38

BHUBANESHWAR , India — With turtle mortalities due to illegal fishing spiralling out of control, Greenpeace today presented the Orissa government with a clear ‘upper limit’ target for turtle mortality along the coast from Paradip to Chilika.

An Olive Ridley Turtle dies after being trapped

Image | February 21, 2008 at 10:26

An Olive Ridley Turtle dies after being trapped in a net

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