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


Dead turtles

Image | July 6, 2007 at 11:39

Dead turtles, probable victims of mechanised fishing, on the site of the TATA port at Dhamra.

Greenpeace volunteers in London deliver a

Image | July 3, 2007 at 3:30

Greenpeace volunteers in London deliver a message to Corus, who are part of the TATA Group, to ask them to reconsider the port they are building in India which is near one of the last nesting grounds of the endangered olive ridley sea turtles.

Greenpeace turtles invade the Taj Land's

Image | June 27, 2007 at 3:30

Greenpeace turtles invade the Taj Land's End Hotel, Mumbai, seeking a refuge from the threat posed to them by TATA's Dhamra Port in Orissa.

Representatives of Orissa’s turtles

Image | June 19, 2007 at 18:03

Representatives of Orissa’s turtles, seeking insurance from the destruction to be caused by Tata’s Dhamra Port, hang a banner outside the office of Tata AIG Life Insurance in Mumbai.

Ratan Tata, Kya Hua Tera Vaada?

Feature story | June 19, 2007 at 3:30

MUMBAI, India — “Ratan Tata, Kya Hua Tera Vaada?” was the line that thousands of Mumbai’s citizens have been reading aloud, with smiles on their faces, over the last few days. The Tata’s response to the Greenpeace-commissioned rapid biodiversity...

Greenpeace activists and turtles urge Tata

Image | June 19, 2007 at 3:30

Greenpeace activists and turtles urge Tata employees to ask Ratan Tata to keep his word and withdraw from the Dhamra port project.


Image | June 8, 2007 at 18:05

Dr. S.K. Dutta, Principal Investigator of the Dhamra biodiversity assessment study and Ashish Fernandes, Oceans Campaigner address the media in Mumbai. Greenpeace, on behalf of Orissa's endangered turtles, is demanding that Tata Steel live up to...

Greenpeace: Biodiversity assessment of Dhamra Port

Publication | June 8, 2007 at 3:30

Biodiversity assessment of Dhamra port site and surrounding areas, Orissa

Wrapping up the Mediterranean

Feature story | September 5, 2006 at 18:29

CARTAGENA, Spain — It's a bluefin tuna graveyard, white crosses float next to tuna ranch cages. We end our three month Mediterranean tour back where we started, in Spain, highlighting the desperate state of bluefin tuna stocks.

In an early morning wake

Image | April 14, 2006 at 19:58

In an early morning wake-up call to the Orissa Chief Minister, Greenpeace activists protest against the CM's failure to protect the Olive Ridley turtle.

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