Tag Archives: CMZ

Report of the Expert Committee on the Draft CMZ Notification

The report of the expert committee on the draft Coastal Management Zone notification, titled: Final Frontier, Agenda to protect the ecosystem and habitat of India’s coast for conservation and livelihood security, was delivered to the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) on 16 July 2009.  The expert committee was chaired by M.S. Swaminathan and included Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences; J.M. Mauskar, Additional Secretary, MoEF, and Sunita Narain, Director, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

The full report can be viewed here.

The summary of the recommendations are:

  • Let the CMZ Notification, 2008 lapse and incorporate amendments as recommended in the existing CRZ Notification, 1991 for better coastal management.
  • Check violations to CRZ through improved space technology-enabled enforcement, strengthened institutions, and regulatory and legal reform.
  • Enhance protection to fishing communities and families for habitat and livelihood security through amendments in the CRZ Notification.
  • Resolve issues regarding the development and redevelopment of Mumbai, based on locale-specific amendments.
  • Introduce regulations to manage the proliferation of ports along the coasts with possible impacts on the coastline by considering cumulative impacts of these developments.
  • Introduce tighter standards for disposal of effluents into coastal waters so that these waters do not become cheaper alternatives to inland pollution management.
  • Introduce new management regimes in the Andaman and Nicobar as well as Lakshadweep Islands after deliberation and discussion.
  • Introduce any new protection regime – such as critically vulnerable coastal areas – after careful and deliberate understanding of the impact of conservation policies on local communities, particularly fisher families.
  • Strengthen protection to mangroves based on clear definitions.
  • Include the seaward side to ensure protection from current and future threats, but with safeguards to ensure there is no restriction to livelihoods of fishing communities.
  • Introduce measures to greatly strengthen research and regulatory capacity at all levels.
  • Introduce policies to cope with and adapt to the future dangers from sea level rise and increased vulnerability of the coasts.

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Saving India’s Beaches: Jairam Ramesh’s Responses – NDTV Reports

June 22, 2009

In the report above, Jairam Ramesh, the Minister of Environment and Forest, declares his priority to ensure that the CMZ 2009 does not adversely affect the livelihood of fisher families as well as doing an inventory of port development.

July 7, 2009

In the video above, Vivekanandan, member of the South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies (SIFFS), reports on his meeting with Jairam Ramesh.  In his meeting, the Minister has agreed that the CMZ, in it’s current form, will be allowed to lapse and a new process of dialogue with the fishing community will start, including 5 consultations across the coast (Chennai, Bhuvaneshwar, Cochin, Goa and Bombay) to provide feedback to help the ministry to re-work or improve the CRZ.

July 7, 2009

In the report above, NDTV interviews Jairam Ramesh and Probir Banerjee, President of PondyCAN.  Probir Banerjee speaks of the water and food security issues as a result of port and SEZ (Special Economic Zone) development.  Jairam Ramesh has commissioned a study of the overall, cumulative impacts of the port developments.

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CMZ a Threat to India’s Beaches – NDTV Report

June 13, 2009

The Government of India’s (GOI) proposal to replace the existing Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) with the Coastal Management Zone (CMZ) has met with stiff resistence from the public.  (This post, dated May 20, 2008, outlines the objections to the CMZ from the perspective of the fishing communities.)

NDTV’s report – “New Coastal Policy Threatens Beaches” indicates that the GOI will soon be coming out with a revised notification soon based on public pressure.

The text of Sam Daniel’s report is given below.

New coastal policy threatens beaches
Sam Daniel, Maya Sharma
Saturday, June 13, 2009, (Chennai, Bangalore)

The livelihood of the fishermen and an entire stretch of coastline in Tamil Nadu is under threat. The tough Coastal Regulation Zone that protects beaches and sea side areas will soon be replaced by a diluted version called the Coastal Management Zone or the CMZ.

To begin with, this will lift the existing ban on construction within 500 metres from the high tide line. Instead there will be area specific guidelines which are not clear yet. Fishing communities are apprehensive of displacement, to make way for tourism or industrial development.

“Already every year the sea is coming into the land and actually we may need more area in future like say around 1000 foot. If this law comes we will be badly affected,” says a fisherman.

Even ecologically sensitive areas like mangrove forests could be cut down. This will be a disastrous move, given that when the tsunami struck in 2004 these mangroves actually saved hundreds of lives.

Environmentalists say this is a clear move to allow industrial activity in the garb of coastal management. They say this new law could actually legalise many corporate violations on our beaches.

Says environmentalist Sudarshan Rodriguez: “It allows recreation and tourism facilities to come in front of the set back line towards the sea. But when it comes to fishing settlements and other houses, these should come behind the setback line.”

A parliamentary standing committee too has recommended the CMZ to be kept in abeyance. Under pressure, the government says it will soon come out with a modified notification.

Says Minister of Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh: “We’ve set up a small team that will consult with all states and come up with a hybrid model having the best of both, something that will satisfy both sides.”

Since the tsunami they are fishing in troubled waters. But it is not just fishermen, saving our beaches is something each one of us need to be stakeholders in.


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