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

 

What is the IPCC saying and what does it mean?

Publication | September 27, 2013 at 16:54

Background briefing accompanying the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) AR5 WG1 launch.

Identifying Conservation Needs in India's Offshore Waters

Publication | August 21, 2012 at 15:07

At Rio+20, a global summit on sustainable development which took place in June 2012, the international community pledged to re-double efforts for conservation and restoration of the seas. India now has the opportunity to show the world its own...

How coal mining is trashing tigerland

Publication | August 1, 2012 at 16:35

This report makes the case that the biggest threat to the long term survival of the Royal Bengal Tiger in its largest contiguous landscape- Central India- has been overlooked by the Indian government and its administrative machinery. That threat...

Safeguard or Squander?

Publication | June 8, 2012 at 13:00

India's marine fisheries are in a state of crisis, despite official statements that there is still scope or fish landings to increase. 90% of India's fish resources are at or above maximum sustainable levels of exploitation.

Smart Energy Access report

Publication | May 15, 2012 at 16:07

Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. The energy shortage is most acute among India’s rural poor and in states such as Bihar, where more than 80% of the population still live in the rural...

The true cost of coal

Publication | January 10, 2012 at 13:16

Tonnes of coal is burnt to give us electricity. The extraction of this coal leaves behind a long trail of destruction. Soon, we will run out of this resource as well.

Taking charge: case studies of decentralised renewable energy projects in India

Publication | December 1, 2011 at 16:49

Taking Charge is a selection of case studies of small-scale, decentralised renewable energy systems in India in 2010. Each has two parts: the main story, which captures some of the remarkable human and social elements that have shaped these...

Indian Guide to Greener Electronics version 11

Publication | November 9, 2011 at 11:00

Greenpeace released a new and upgraded version of its Guide to Greener Electronics wherein Wipro retains the top slot followed by HCL Infosystem in the Indian version. The international version ranks the IT manufacturing company HP at the top...

Other Fish in the Sea

Publication | July 25, 2011 at 17:14

The United Artists Association (UAA)and Greenpeace India undertook an independent study in the Gahirmatha region to understand, examine and document perceptions and thoughts of fisher communities on income generation schemes and livelihood...

कूल आईटी लीडर बोर्ड अंक 4

Publication | December 8, 2010 at 17:19

ग्रीनपीस द्वारा किये गये ताजा आंकलन के हिसाब से 17 विश्वस्तरीय सूचना एवं प्रौद्योगिकी (आईटी) कंपनियों के जलवायु नेतृत्व में अगुवाई करने के स्पष्ट संकेत हैं। साथ ही इस अगुवाई में निष्क्रिय रहने वाली आईटी कंपनियों को नकारात्‍मक प्वाइंट भी दिये गये...

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