Safeguarding marine biodiversity

Marine reserves help protect and preserve areas of our oceans that are rich in biodiversity, ecologically significant and vulnerable to destruction. These areas are closed to all extractive uses, such as fishing, mining, oil exploration, waste dumping etc. There is growing scientific evidence suggesting that large-scale networks of marine reserves are urgently needed to protect marine species and their habitats.

Marine reserves are not just about preserving fish stocks. They are an essential global tool to protect entire ecosystems. Marine reserves will help increase the planet’s ability to adapt to the effects of climate change and carbon pollution.

Coastal seas can also be protected with the help of marine reserves. Here, marine reserves can have ‘core’ zones, where no human activities are allowed. These can be areas of scientific reference or areas having particularly sensitive habitats or species. Other areas may remain open to small-scale, sustainable, non-destructive fisheries. Greenpeace firmly believes that marine reserves must be declared only with the consent and participation of communities that stand to be affected by the reserve in question.

Campaign story:

Less than 0.3% of India’s waters (including the 2 million sq. km. Exclusive Economic Zone) are under some form of legal protection, where extraction is either prohibited or restricted. A large, economically disadvantaged population in India depends on fisheries and related activities for primary sustenance and livelihood. The high level of direct resource dependence coupled with a lack of community consultation has generated resistance towards many marine reserves on the coast of mainland India.

While fishing communities support measures to protect their fish resources, they want local communities to be involved in making decisions over which areas need to be protected, how and to what extent.

This was clear at a symposium on marine reserves organised by Greenpeace in 2007. The symposium was attended by fisher community representatives from across India.  These representative expressed support for marine reserves, set up with prior involvement of communities to protect marine resources from all threats. Thus, community involvement in designing and enforcing marine reserves in India, particularly in the coastal zone, is indispensable.  

Greenpeace is campaigning on Orissa’s east coast, to help the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary become a model for better biodiversity conservation and a tool for fisheries management that addresses potential conflicts between conservation and livelihoods. A successful model in Orissa will become reference for marine conservation in the rest of India.

The latest updates

 

Statement From Greenpeace India On The Signing Of The Paris Agreement At The UN

Feature story | April 26, 2016 at 18:43

New York/ New Delhi |April 22 2016|Even as Officials from over 120 countries, including India, gather to sign the Paris Agreement today at New York, latest scientific data reinforces the urgency for action. The first three months of 2016 were the...

Kolkata getting down to the basics of 'Do'!

Blog entry by Grace Saji | April 4, 2016

It’s not all that very often that one hears of an environment program (as opposed to a cultural program) being conducted in Kolkata, so my eyes (literally) popped out when I got the invite: “You’re going to be invited as a delegate at...

COP21: shows the end of fossil fuels is near, we must speed its coming

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | December 13, 2015

The wheel of climate action turns slowly, but in Paris it has turned. There’s much in this deal that frustrates and disappoints me, but it still puts the fossil fuel industry squarely on the wrong side of history. Climate Action and...

Makkale, let’s be Climate Heroes, not Victims.

Blog entry by Aswini Sivaraman | December 12, 2015

Plenty of good things have been said recently about my city – I have been earlier told (and admitted myself) that Chennaiites are standoffish or conservative; now things are different. An unprompted people’s movement has received a...

Nothing momentous in the Modi-Obama statement on climate change

Feature story | January 25, 2015 at 1:43

Greenpeace India expressed disappointment at the joint announcement by Prime Minister Modi and President Obama as it didn’t go beyond rhetoric and the usual platitudes.

Indian Pandora's box on climate change waiting to be opened

Blog entry by Avik Roy | December 6, 2014

There are whispers in the corridor in Lima that India may announce some unprecedented decision that will change the course of the ongoing climate negotiations in the lead up to Paris agreement. Nevertheless, India is a strategic player...

LIMA COP 20: Hope and an opportunity for India

Blog entry by Abhishek Pratap | November 30, 2014

It’s that time of the year again when climate and its politics get prominence! Starting today and for the next two weeks, official negotiators, bureaucrats, technocrats, think-tanks, activists, civil society, corporate honchos, trade...

Fishermen left marooned - Hudhud Aftermath

Blog entry by Aishwarya Madineni | November 10, 2014

As we drove along the east coast off the Visakhapatanam main roads to reach the fishermen’s villages in Bheemilipatanam, the second town to have municipality in the country after Chennai, Srilakshmi, a community worker from the...

Climate change washes off Hudhud in India

Blog entry by Aishwarya Madineni | November 5, 2014

On the 12 th of October 2014, the city of Visakhapatanam along with its neighbouring coastal villages in the district witnessed a climate catastrophe of an unimaginable scale . Cyclone Hudhud with wind speeds close to 220kmph...

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