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

 

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 | December 1, 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 11, 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 6, 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...

Why is the IPCC report vital for India?

Blog entry by Greenpeace editorial staff | November 3, 2014

Q & A with Navroz Dubash by Kaisa Kosonen, Campaigner, Climate & Energy, Greenpeace Nordic What’s in the new climate report for India? How bad is climate change by now? How bad could it get in the future? What can we do about...

We need a lot more than promises!

Blog entry by Manish Ram | September 25, 2014

Doubling India’s Wind and Solar capacities by 2020: India at the Climate Summit    Following the massive turnout in over 200 events at the people’s climate march, all eyes turn to the climate summit hosted by Ban Ki Moon in New...

The Peoples Climate March is happening on the 20th of September and here are 10...

Blog entry by Rohini Manohar | September 19, 2014

1) You're tired of paying high electricity bills and STILL don't get electricity 24x7 (common killing mosquitoes is really not as fun as you think it to be). 2) You hate having to ride around with a dupatta on your face looking like...

Deforestation: A vicious cocktail for the climate

Blog entry by Dr. Janet Cotter and Sebastian Bock | March 28, 2014

Every few years, thousands of the world's most renowned climate scientists work together as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to present us with the latest scientific assessment of how we are doing in terms...

Support the Arctic 30

Blog entry by Muskan Gaba & Tarushi Anand | December 4, 2013

By Muskan Gaba, 6th Grade, Vivekanand School On 16th November, 2013 at Jantar Mantar, I attended the campaign on #Freethearctic30. I was very curious to know about it as there was a fake jail and there were some people enacting as...

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