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

 

Life and Death on the beaches of Orissa

Feature story | February 6, 2006 at 4:30

ORISSA, India — Our Turtle Witness Camp was launched on 27th January and in the first week alone, we’ve witnessed the circle of life in all its gore and glory. We’ve watched, awe-struck, as scores of mating turtles surface around the faithful MV...

An Olive Ridley turtle up close and personal

Image | February 6, 2006 at 4:30

An Olive Ridley turtle up close and personal. Every year, thousands of Olive Ridley turtles congregate in these waters to mate and then nest in a perfectly synchronised arribada.

Orissa Turtles News Letter January 2006

Image | February 2, 2006 at 4:30

Orissa Turtles News Letter January 2006

Ridleys mating about 3

Image | January 31, 2006 at 11:30

Ridleys mating about 3-5 kms off the coast. The male is on top of the female, holding onto her with his claws. Prior to nesting, the Ridley turtles congregate in near coastal waters every season, to mate, starting in early November.

A familiar sight on the beaches of coastal

Image | January 31, 2006 at 4:30

A familiar sight on the beaches of coastal Orissa, carcasses of dead ridleys washed ashore. Over the last decade, over 100,000 dead turtles have been washed ashore.

Defending the Olive Ridleys: MV Sugayatri

Feature story | January 16, 2006 at 4:30

ORISSA, India — Curious and interested fishermen watch as a giant turtle, at least 10 feet in diameter, bobs benignly beside their boats. This isn't a scene from a science fiction movie. It's the launch of Greenpeace India's latest, most...

Celebrating Orissa's choice of clean energy

Image | May 11, 2005 at 11:22

Celebrating Orissa's choice of clean energy at the famous Sun Temple of Konarak.

The Answer's Blowing In The Wind

Feature story | May 10, 2005 at 3:30

BHUBANESHWAR, India — In a historic win for the clean energy movement, the Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has just thrown down the gauntlet for the giants of industry. Its directive, quite simply, compels GRIDCO and other...

Greenpeace India activists dressed up as

Image | April 26, 2005 at 4:30

Greenpeace India activists dressed up as turtles, confronted TATAs at Bombay House, Mumbai, demanding that they abandon their plans of setting up a port at Dhamra, Orissa.

Dhamra Chronology - marathi

Publication | April 26, 2005 at 3:30

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