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


In an early morning wake

Image | April 14, 2006 at 19:50

In an early morning wake-up call to the Orissa Chief Minister, Greenpeace activists create a graveyard of Olive Ridley carcasses in New Delhi.

Witnesses arrested, accused walks free!

Feature story | April 14, 2006 at 3:30

NEW DELHI, India — Bearing witness to the mass murder of Olive Ridley turtles can cost you dearly in the strange world we inhabit. 12 Greenpeace activists were arrested in New Delhi this morning, for having brought evidence of turtle mortality...

In an early morning wake

Image | April 14, 2006 at 3:30

In an early morning wake-up call to the Orissa Chief Minister, Greenpeace activists create a graveyard of Olive Ridley carcasses in New Delhi.

Enough is enough.

Feature story | April 3, 2006 at 19:30

BHUBANESWAR, India — We’ve witnessed first hand the hundreds of meaningless deaths of turtles on the beaches of Orissa. Camped at the Turtle Witness Camp, volunteers who thought they would be witness to the wondrous arribada of the Olive Ridley...

03rd April 2006: Greenpeace activists create

Image | April 3, 2006 at 18:51

03rd April 2006: Greenpeace activists create a symbolic graveyard outside the office of the Chief Wildlife Warden of Orissa, as a reminder of the mass deaths of the endangered Olive Ridley Turtles. Greenpeace has demanded that the Forest...

An Introductory Manual to Sea Turtle Monitoring and Research Techniques

Publication | March 2, 2006 at 18:02

An introductory manual to fundamental sea turtle monitoring and research techniques. The report provides a comprehensive account of tools and skillsets that are used to monitor, record and analyse data on the nesting, mortality, congregation and...

Making Piracy History

Feature story | March 1, 2006 at 10:21

CAPETOWN, South Africa — Armed and masked, scouring the oceans, stealing food from hungry families – modern day pirates are a far cry from the glamour of Hollywood movies. But they are a multi billion-dollar reality for many communities that can...

Olive Ridley females usually come ashore

Image | February 24, 2006 at 4:30

Olive Ridley females usually come ashore at night or early morning to lay their clutch of 100 to 150 eggs above the high tide line, which are then covered by sand. She then returns to the sea. The eggs hatch after seven to eight weeks.

Growing strength on the East Coast

Feature story | February 17, 2006 at 4:30

ORISSA, India — From victory on the west coast of India, to fast progress on the east coast, this has been a busy week for our activists! The turtle is on the move again, with the Greenpeace Sugayatri (crowned by its giant turtle) out in full...

A late night meeting at Chandini Pal in Orissa

Image | February 17, 2006 at 4:30

A late night meeting at Chandini Pal in Orissa is lit up by vehicle headlights, while Greenpeace campaigners talk to fish-workers about conservation efforts, during the MV Sugayatri's Boat Yatra.

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