India has a coastline that extends to about 7500 km and nearly 260 million people (~ 20% of the Indian population) live within 50 km from the shoreline. The majority of the coastal communities depend on fisheries, agro-forestry, agriculture, tourism, and related activities for their livelihood. In addition, the coastal zone supports large industrial complexes and other commercial activities. The coastal zone is also prone to natural disasters such as cyclones, storm surges, floods and tsunami, which usually cause severe damage to life and property. The problem is further aggravated by rising sea level due to climate change.
The competing demands on the coastal zone for different land uses, multiple economic activities, and conservation and sustainable management of natural resources and preparedness to manage natural disasters require a coordinated management strategy.
This session discussed the issues and solutions pertaining to strengthening an integrated and sustainable coastal system development in the backdrop of climate risk mitigation, and promotion of sustainable fisheries and other livelihood development. The results of MSSRF’s interventions in the area of Coastal System Research that gives thrust to integrated coastal management, combining land and sea surface on the one hand, and capture and culture fisheries and forestry (including agro-forestry) on the other hand were highlighted.