Coastal and marine areas in India and across the world are facing severe negative impacts due to unsustainable developmental activities. The major impacts include degradation of coastal habitats, declining fish stock, polluted marine waters, salinity ingress and inundation by coastal waters.

Climate change impacts – particularly sea level rise, storm surges, monsoon pattern shifts, fish migration and increasing frequency and intensity of coastal hazards – will further magnify our challenges. Considering the need to address these challenges, CEE’s Coastal and Marine Programme focuses on initiating, designing and implementing strategic projects that enhance participatory and integrated approaches for sustainable coastal and marine area management. Education is considered as the key driver in these interventions. Partnerships range from local, regional, national and international levels.

Climate Literacy and Marine Litter Management

A community engagement and awareness campaign aided with educational materials, exhibitions, street-plays, focus group discussion, participatory consultations and demonstrations across 250 coastal villages from West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. It focused on adaptation to climate change impacts and better management of marine litter.

Coastal Biodiversity Conservation Studies

CEE has carried out research and field studies in Karwar (Karnataka), Gulf of Kachchh, Gulf of Khambhat (Gujarat), East Godavari, Krishna and Coringa (Andhra Pradesh) for assessment of social dependency and governance ability for demarcation of Critical Vulnerable Coastal Areas (CVCAs) and policy feedback support for National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

CEE has also taken up projects for mapping of mangrove habitats and plantations in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

Coastal Samvaads - Public Consultations

CEE conducted public consultations on Coastal Management Zone (CMZ) 2008 and on the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) in 2010. For these, CEE developed background information, facilitated discussions with a special focus on expression of marginalized voices, and collated the stakeholder viewpoints for the consideration of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), for its decision on the CMZ, and promulgation of a revamped CRZ 2011.

Other public consultations and high level events include:

  • State coastal management policy inputs, Goa
  • UNDP Consultation on Marine Turtle conservation
  • Goa Youth Convention on Marine & Coasts – policy input for Government of Goa
  • International Workshop (side event) on Education for Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use at the COP 21 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Hyderabad
  • Documentation of good practices on coastal biodiversity conservation: An Approach paper and strategic review for India’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) (Ocean and Marine) for inputs to MoEF for UN working group discussions

Coastal Disaster Management and Risk Reduction

CEE took up the Tsunami Rehabilitation programme in rural coastal villages in Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu after the 2004 natural disaster. The rehabilitation work has included rebuilding housing, support to livelihoods through provision of net shelters, Fish Aggregating Devices; outboard motor repairs, coastal restoration and plantation, water body reclamation, nursery raising etc. CEE has undertaken Vulnerability Assessments and contingency planning for coastal fishing villages, as well as a Regional Assessment for Coastal Risk Reduction Plans for SAARC.

Blue Flag India

The international Blue Flag programme of the Foundation for Environmental Education promotes sustainable development in freshwater and marine areas. It challenges local authorities and beach operators to achieve high standards in the four categories of: water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety. Over the years, the Blue Flag has become a highly respected and recognised eco-label working to bring together the tourism and environmental sectors at local, regional and national levels.

CEE as the National Operator agency of Blue Flag India is promoting sustainable management of beaches and supporting coastal local governments and communities to make use of Blue Flag to improve their own local environment. Currently, beaches in 10 states/ Union Territories are being readied for applying to be awarded for the eco-label, with support from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India. Waste Management and beach cleaning are important components of the programme. The program is implemented through CEE’s partner the Society for Sustainable Urban Development. See http://blueflagindia.org/

Sustainable Business & Climate Change in Coastal Environments

    Activities have included:
  1. Compensatory afforestation & mangrove monitoring, Gujarat
  2. CDM Project, Bhavnagar, Gujarat
  3. Participatory assessment of Environment Management Plan (EMP) implementation and CSR activities by Ports, at Mundra, Gujarat

Training & Capacity Building

    Activities have included:
  1. Curriculum development & teacher training – Maldives island context
  2. Curriculum development, UAE coastal context
  3. UNEP-ISDR-NIDM-CEE Training program for capacity building for coastal managers in climate change, disaster and coastal management

Public Awareness and Outreach

Through innovative campaigns and exhibitions, CEE has promoted conservation of coastal and marine biodiversity, climate change and marine litter management in coastal areas. These include

  1. Science Express Biodiversity Special (SEBS) – a mobile train exhibition on India’s biodiversity featured, among others, a dedicated coach on the rich coastal, marine and island biodiversity. SEBS crossed 24 lakh visitors and completed 1000 exhibition days covering around 50 locations across India. The National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) was the thematic knowledge partner for developing this coach. www.scienceexpress.in
  2. Waves on Wheels: A mobile bus exhibition sensitizing on disaster risk reduction in coastal areas
  3. Celebrating International Biodiversity Day focusing on marine biodiversity conservation: A handprint celebration campaign in partnership with UNCBD and the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) that encouraged citizens undertake handprint actions for conservation of marine biodiversity and appreciate the traditional knowledge of fishers.

Marine Interpretation Programmes

    Interpretive facilities to promote the experience and understanding among visitors and local communities at natural and cultural heritage sites have been set up by CEE. These include:
  • Chilika lagoon interpretation centre and Chilika Ecopark, Orissa
  • Puri Aquarium Marine Interpretation Centre, Orissa
  • Ocean Education Conservation Centre, Orissa
  • Andaman & Nicobar Interpretation centre, Vandoor, A&N Islands
  • Gulf of Mannar Interpretation Centre, Tamil Nadu
  • Information Centre on Marine Turtles at Morjim beach, Goa
  • Science Express Biodiversity Special – Mobile Train exhibition with separate coach on Ocean and Coast theme.

Marine Camps

    Bringing people close to nature is a powerful approach to enhance environmental understanding. CEE has provided such exposure to thousands of youth and others over the last three decade, through its marine camps at:
  • Beyt Dwarka Marine Campsite, Gujarat
  • Udipi, Malpe, Karnataka
  • Gulf of Mannar, Tamil Nadu
  • Sri Lanka

School and College Education Programmes

    CEE has undertaken a number of school and college education programmes promoting understanding about the coastal environment. These include
  • School partnerships between Gujarat and Australia through the GCS Marine International Global Citizenship and Sustainability Education.
  • Marine education for schools with support from Mangrove for Future (MFF)
  • Sea Turtle Conservation Education Prorgramme in Schools, Goa
  • Goa Environmental Education Programs in Schools (GEEPS)
  • Environment Education in Gulf of Mannar
  • Credit course on coastal ecosystem, Bangalore
  • Facilitation of coastal dissertation projects, Goa
  • Internship program on Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), Chennai

Publications

    CEE’s publications related to ocean and coasts include:
  • Ocean Omnibus
  • Nature Scope-Ocean
  • Turtle; Glimpses of the Gulf
  • Mannar Matters
  • Ocean Passport;
  • Minding our Marine Wealth, part of the Environment & Development series
  • Report on Marine National Park for Rajiv Gandhi Foundation
  • Towards safe coasts
  • How to Manage A Fishery, Manual for Sustainable Fishing
  • Coping with disasters
  • Learnings from Tsunami (Oxfam)

Membership & Networking at International, Regional, National and State levels

  1. Consortium member of National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) under the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change, Government of India
  2. World Ocean Network
  3. Environment and School Initiatives - ENSi
  4. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  5. Earth Charter
  6. Task Force member for Goa State Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) program
  7. East Coast Forum Network (ECF) – a partnership association of 15 organizations working along the East Coast of India on coastal and marine issues.