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

 

TATA clean up my cup!

Blog entry by Debanjana Choudhuri | September 17, 2014

Life is busy as hell! My day starts at 7 AM (which by many is a late start), but for me it's quite an early start, because I sleep at 12, and wake up every 2-3 hours to check on my baby girl. Yes, I am a working mother and I love my...

PM calls environmental clearances the new ‘licence-permit-quota raj’

Blog entry by Ignatius Joseph | January 18, 2013

Stay up-to-date on news related to the environment. PM calls environmental clearances the new ‘licence-permit-quota raj’ At the Union Cabinet meeting on January 10 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that environmental...

Gupti public hearing proves it's better late than never

Blog entry by Areeba Hamid | June 27, 2011

When I realised that the venue we had picked for the second public hearing at Gupti village was the same where Hon’ble Minister Jairam Ramesh conducted his meeting before his decision on POSCO, I didn’t know whether I should be...

The rains didn’t stop, nor did the public hearing at Khairnasi

Blog entry by Areeba Hamid | June 20, 2011

It is still raining as I type this from my room in Bhubaneswar. The newspaper says that the low depression over the Bay of Bengal since the beginning of the week will continue to lash the state for the next 24 hours. This means that...

Turtles + Fishermen = Ecology

Blog entry by Areeba Hamid | June 9, 2011

I remember meeting a journalist in Orissa in 2006 for a story on the high turtle mortalities and being told that Greenpeace would be better off protecting the rights of human beings rather than turtles. After all, when it comes to...

Tata and the turtles. How environmental activism triggered a complex trademark dispute

Feature story | April 13, 2011 at 11:33

The following article was featured as a cover story in the March 2011 issue of India Business Law Journal. It is written by Rebecca Abraham.

TATA vs Turtles stays!

Blog entry by Ashish Fernandes | January 28, 2011

“Congratulations, we won!” that was an excited but restrained Advocate Saikrishna Rajgopal, calling to inform me that the Delhi High Court had dismissed the TATA's plea for an interim injunction against Greenpeace’s TATA vs Turtle...

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.

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.

Don't let TATA terminate the turtles

Feature story | March 23, 2009 at 4:30

TATA corporation of India is in the global spotlight as they launch the Nano, the world's cheapest car. But the spotlight ought to be on a costly little secret: TATA's giant port at Dhamra, which threatens the nesting grounds of an endangered...

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