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

 

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...

30 cities for Arctic 30

Feature story | December 4, 2013 at 12:26

The Arctic 30 have been released on bail. But it's not over - the piracy charges which were posed on them still remain.

Sudarshan Pattnaik’s Sand Art Creates a Wave to Free the Arctic 30

Feature story | November 10, 2013 at 14:52

Someone once said, 'Art imitates life' and rightly so. Most of us know of Sudarshan Pattnaik's sand art, which is really his unique way of communicating some very important issues to the world, through art. To him these issues are extremely...

Don’t believe the hype – hooliganism is hardly better than piracy

Blog entry by Jess Wilson | October 24, 2013

Earlier this evening Russian authorities offered the Arctic 30 — currently being held in a freezing jail in Murmansk — what looked like a legal olive branch by dropping piracy charges and replacing them with ones of "hooliganism."...

Cyclone Phailin; a disaster uncalled for

Blog entry by Abhishek Pratap | October 17, 2013

In an earlier protest Greenpeace activists project a message to stop climate change on a cooling tower of the National Thermal Coal Plant. The morning after Cyclone Phailin struck the east coast with all its fury, the newspapers had...

Cyclone Phailin: The strongest in more than a decade

Blog entry by Samit Aich | October 12, 2013

As I write, I am fearfully watching the news from Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Cyclone Phailin, the strongest in more than a decade, looks set to reach landfall in the next hour. Already early strong winds have been lashing the...

An assault on the very principle of peaceful protest

Blog entry by Jess Wilson | October 4, 2013

It is bitterly ironic that as the world celebrated Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday as International Non-Violence Day, 30 non-violent, peaceful protestors sat locked up in jail cells in Russia. Yesterday, 13 activists and one freelance...

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