United Nations Convention to combat desertification (Photo Courtesy: UNCCD official website)
United Nations Convention to combat desertification (Photo Courtesy: UNCCD official website)

India experiences 45 pc coastal erosion, gets special importance in UNCCD

By Joymala Bagchi (ANI) | Updated: Sep 04, 2019 11:54 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept 3 (ANI): Conference of Parties (COP14) to the United Nations Convention to combat desertification (UNCCD) was held on Monday in New Delhi, where India took the presidency for the next two years.
The primary focus of COP14 is desertification and degradation of land while aiming to add around 50 lakh hectares of degradation affected land fit for fertilisation in the next 10 years.
However, with 45 per cent of 7,500 km Indian coast experiencing severe erosion, coastal erosion has also gained special importance at UNCCD.
While speaking to ANI, Dr R Ramesh, Director, National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said: "We have done a complete assessment of the coastal erosion from Gujarat to West Bengal. We have located a few hot spots where immediate action needs to be taken."
Areas requiring special consideration (critically vulnerable coastal areas) are Kerela, Goa, and Greater Mumbai's CRZ- V.
"We are looking at living coastal lines through mangroves and other possibilities which will stop the erosion. We have introduced a few models. West Bengal is planning to implement one," said Ramesh.
Ramesh further told that India first initiated resolution on two most important global environmental issues relating to Single-Use Plastics and Sustainable Nitrogen Management at the fourth session of United Nations Environment Assembly.
"We are working on marine letters (Marine Debris) a year ago. We are looking at the actual assessment which is coming through major river basins as well as the long beaches. In another six months we will have a complete database of the country's coastline including the islands," said Ramesh.
After the signing of International Memorandum of Understanding(s) (MoUs) between India and Germany, Norway and Japan individually, exchange of expertise among these countries are in process.
Here in UNCCD, NCSCM under MoEF&CC have introduced blue economy which stresses on utilising the living resources. "All this will lead towards a coastal mission which the government is also planning to look at a bigger aspect," Ramesh asserted.
At present India is implementing the World Bank assisted, Integrated Coastal Zone Management project which aims at national capacity for implementation of comprehensive coastal management.
UNCCD has 196 countries and 5,000 participants. Earlier, the United Nations observed that land degradation is costing a scale as high as 1.3 billion dollars every day. (ANI)