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1. What is ICZM?
According to Marine Biodiversity Wiki Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is a “process for the management of the coast using an integrated approach, regarding all aspects of the coastal zone, including geographical and political boundaries, in an attempt to achieve sustainability”.
This concept was borne in 1992 during the Earth Summit of Rio de Janeiro. The policy regarding ICZM is set out in the proceedings of the summit within Agenda 21, Chapter 17.
The European Commission defines ICZM as “a dynamic, multidisciplinary and iterative process to promote sustainable management of coastal zones. It covers the full cycle of information collection, planning (in its broadest sense), decision making, management and monitoring of implementation. ICZM uses the informed participation and cooperation of all stakeholders to assess the societal goals in a given coastal area, and to take actions towards meeting these objectives. ICZM seeks, over the long-term, to balance environmental, economic, social, cultural and recreational objectives, all within the limits set by natural dynamics. 'Integrated' in ICZM refers to the integration of objectives and also to the integration of the many instruments needed to meet these objectives. It means integration of all relevant policy areas, sectors, and levels of administration. It means integration of the terrestrial and marine components of the target territory, in both time and space”.
Knecht and Archer (1993) define ICZM as: “A dynamic and continuous process of administering the use, development and protection of the coastal zone and its resources towards common objectives of national and local authorities and the aspiration of different resource user groups”.
Sorenson, (1993) gives a definition of ICZM as: “Integrated management provides policy direction and a process for defining objectives and priorities and planning development beyond sectoral activities. It adopts a systems perspective and multi sectoral approach which takes into account all sectoral interests and stakeholder interests, and deals with economic and social issues as well as environmental and economic issues”

2. What is a Coastal Zone?
According to US Commission on Marine Science, Engineering & Resource "coastal zone represents that part of the land affected by its proximity to the sea, and that part of the ocean affected by its proximity to the land". Prof. Stephen A. Nelson of Tulane University states that “coastal zone is the interface between the land and water. These zones are important because a majority of the world's population inhabit such zones. Coastal zones are continually changing because of the dynamic interaction between the oceans and the land. Waves and winds along the coast are both eroding rock and depositing sediment on a continuous basis, and rates of erosion and deposition vary considerably from day to day along such zones. The energy reaching the coast can become high during storms, and such high energies make coastal zones areas of high vulnerability to natural hazards.  Thus, an understanding of the interactions of the oceans and the land is essential in understanding the hazards associated with coastal zones”.

3. What is the importance of a coastal zone and the need to manage it?
Coastal zones played a paramount role in the progression of human civilization since time immemorial.  Demarcating Costal zone as mere interface between sea and land will be a myopic approach as it has a broader contour upon which it should be deliberated and discussed. According to European commission the contribution of coastal zone towards developmental trajectory should encompass the following:-

  • Agricultural production in coastal plains –using coastal water resources (from aquifers or desalinization)
  • Diversification of fishery activities
  • Energy production – including both traditional sources like oil and gas, and renewables based on wind and waves
  • Mobility and commerce – ports, harbours and coastal transport routes are key elements in global transport links
  • Repositories of cultural heritage – both in living communities and at archaeological sites
  • Tourism, leisure, recreation and aesthetics –beaches, water sports and pleasing landscapes
  • Retirement residences
  • Defence against the destructive forces of the sea
  • Breakdown and buffering of pollutants

4. What is the Coastal Zone Regulation (CRZ) Notification of 2011?
The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification of 1991 has been replaced recently in January 2011 by the latest CRZ notification of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). In addition for the first time an Island Protection Zone Notification (2011) is being notified and published covering Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.
Both these new notifications reconcile three objectives – (i) protection of livelihoods of traditional fisherfolk communities; (ii) preservation of coastal ecology; and (iii) promotion of economic activity that have necessarily to be located in coastal regions.

Coastal Regulation Zone notification 2011
Apart from codifying the 25 amendments that were made to CRZ notification between 1991-2009, the CRZ notification (2011) has several new features –

  • It has special provisions for Goa, Kerala, Greater Mumbai and critically vulnerable coastal areas (CVCAs) like Sunderban mangrove area, Chilka and Bhitarkanika (Orissa), Gulf of Khambat and Gulf of Kutch (Gujarat), Malwan (Maharashtra), Karwar and Kundapur (Karnataka), Vembanad (Kerala), Coringa, East Godavari and Krishna Delta (Andhra Pradesh), Gulf of Mannar (Tamil Nadu).
  • Clear procedures for obtaining CRZ approval with time-lines have been stipulated along with post-clearance monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.
  • Water area up to 12 nautical miles in the sea and the entire water area of a tidal water body such as creek, river, estuary etc., would now be included in the CRZ areas, without imposing any restrictions of fishing activities.
  • The concept of a Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP), to be prepared with the fullest involvement and participation of local communities, has been introduced.
  • The concept of a hazard line to be demarcated over the next five years has been introduced to protect life and property of local communities and infrastructure along coastal areas.
    Some of the prohibited activities within the CRZ as per the present notification include -
  • Setting up of new industries and expansion of existing industries except –
    • Those directly related to waterfront or directly needing foreshore facilities;
    • Projects of Department of Atomic Energy;
    • Facilities for generating power by non-conventional energy sources and setting up of desalination plants in the areas not classified as CRZ-I(i) based on an impact assessment study including social impacts.;
    • Development of green field airport already permitted at Navi Mumbai;
    • Reconstruction, repair works of dwelling units of local communities including fishers in accordance with local town and country planning regulations.
  • Setting up and expansion of fish processing units including warehousing except hatchery and natural fish drying in permitted areas:
  • Land reclamation, bunding or disturbing the natural course of seawater.
  • Setting up and expansion of units or mechanism for disposal of wastes and effluents
  • Discharge of untreated waste and effluents from industries, cities or towns and other human settlements. The concerned authorities shall implement schemes for phasing out existing discharge of this nature, if any, within a time period not exceeding two years from the date of issue of this notification.
  • Dumping of city or town wastes including construction debris, industrial solid wastes, fly ash for the purpose of land filling. The concerned authority shall implement schemes for phasing out any existing practice, if any, shall be phased out within a period of one year from date of commencement of this notification.
    The notification includes the following annexures –
  • Guidelines for preparation of Coastal Zone Management Plans
  • List of petroleum and chemical products permitted for storage in [CRZ except CRZ-I(A)]
  • Guidelines for development of beach resorts or hotels in the designated areas of CRZ-III and CRZ-II for occupation of tourist or visitors with prior approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

5. What is the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project?
Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Project is a World Bank funded project  which intends to assist Government of India (GoI) in building national capacity for implementation of comprehensive coastal management approach in the country, and piloting the integrated coastal zone management approach in states of Gujarat, Orissa and West Bengal. There are four components to the project, the first component being national ICZM capacity building. The national component will include mapping, delineation and demarcation of the hazard lines, and delineation of coastal sediment cells all along the mainland coast of India. The second component is the piloting ICZM approaches in Gujarat. This component will support capacity building of the state level agencies and institutions, including preparation of an ICZM plan for the coastal sediment cell that includes the Gulf of Kachchh, and pilot investments. The third component is the piloting ICZM approaches in Orissa. This component will include capacity building of the state level agencies and institutions, including preparation of an ICZM plan for the coastal sediment cells that include the stretches of Paradip-Dhamra and Gopalpur-Chilika, including a regional coastal process study, and pilot investments. Finally, the fourth component is the piloting ICZM approaches in West Bengal.

6. What is the ICZM Project duration?
The ICZM project will be implemented in phases over a period of 5 years. The project duration is from 2010 – 2015.

7. What is the budget allocated for ICZM Project?
The total budget of the ICZM India Project is INR 1150 crores. The budget allocated for ICZM West Bengal is INR 300.26 crores. This budget has been allocated on the basis of a loan approved by the World Bank.

8. What will be the success indicators for the fructification of the ICZM Project?
The success indicators for the fructification of the ICZM Project will be pivoted around the following undernoted considerations:-

  • Sustainable use of resources while preserving the coastal environment and habitat.
  • Environment- friendly sustainable development, which should be in harmony with the socio-economic, cultural progression of the coastal community at large.
  • Integrated and participatory approach of the stakeholders for the developmental works rolled out from ICZM Project. The spirit of community ownership for every bit of asset created through this project should not only be made visible but that should be internalized too at the grassroots.
  • Development Knowledge-Based Systems to predict the coastal behavioural pattern with respect to its ecosystem

9. What are the major project components under ICZM Project to be implemented in West Bengal?
Component Four for West Bengal, aimed at developing and empowering state level authorities to adopt appropriate ICZM approaches consistent with national strategies, includes sub-components: (a) preparation and adoption of an ICZM plan for the coastal stretches of West Bengal; (b) institutional strengthening and capacity building at the State level; and, (c) pilot investments consistent with local ICZM priorities around three themes of (c-i) Conservation and protection of coastal resources; (c-ii) Environment and pollution management; and (c-iii) Livelihood security of coastal communities.

10. What are the major sector sectors that the coastline of West Bengal can be divided?
West Bengal has a coastline of 158 km which includes a portion of districts of East Midnapur, North and South 24 Parganas. The coastline of West Bengal has a unique eco-system as it comes within the ambit of both the Gangetic estuary and Bay of Bengal. West Bengal coast can be divided into three major sectors namely: Sundarban sector (Mangrove area), Haldia sector (Industrial area) and Digha Sector (western part of West Bengal with sandy beach and micro-tidal range).

11. Where in West Bengal is the ICZM project being implemented?
The first phase of the ICZM Project in West Bengal will be implemented in the coastal stretches of Digha- Shankarpur area and also at Sagar Island ( Gangasagar) .

12. Which are the different agencies involved in the ICZM West Bengal Project?
There are ten different agencies directly involved in the ICZM West Bengal Project. They are:
a. Institute of Environmental Studies and Wetland Management
b. Digha Shankarpur Development Authority
c. Public Health Engineering Department
d. West Bengal Fisheries Corporation Limited
e. Zoological Survey of India
f. Sunderban Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited
g Department of Bio-chemistry, University of Calcutta
h. Department of Disaster Management
i. Directorate of Forest
j. West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Corporation Limited
Institute of Environmental Studies and Wetland Management has been identified as the State Project Management Unit (SPMU) while the other agencies have been designated as Pilot Investment Execution Agencies associated with different components and sub-components of the project.

13. What is the role of the SPMU?
To exclusively lead implementation of the ICZM Project in order to achieve the objectives for the West Bengal Component of the Project, the Government of West Bengal has created a special purpose vehicle, called the West Bengal State Project Management Unit (SPMU), and has appointed the Institute of Environmental Studies & Wetland Management, Salt Lake, Kolkata to be the SPMU
As the SPMU, IESWM will coordinate with the Project Investment Execution Agencies (PEAs), for ensuring for better implementation of their respective components in a transparent and time bound manner.

14. Which are the different stakeholders identified as part of the ICZMP West Bengal?
The different stakeholders involved with ICZMP Gujarat are:
a. National and State level government organizations
b. Project Investment Execution Agencies
c. District level government organizations
d. Panchayati Raj Institutions
d. Coastal Communities
e. NGOs
f. SHGs
g. Plebeian/ citizenry of the state