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Vision and Strategy

The state of West Bengal is endowed with unique coastal eco-system areas including a stretch to the east occupied by Sundarban Biosphere Reserve. The mangrove vegetation in SBR supporting a unique habitat of estuarine flora and fauna including the Royal Bengal Tiger and some other endangered species provides challenges for sustainable conservation. To the west, the beach-dune-mudflat system presents different kind of management challenges including prevention of coastal erosion and development of sustainable tourism with effective control of pollution of the coastal region. In both the stretches livelihood issues of a large number of coastal population who depend on the coastal resources (fishery, aquaculture, agriculture, etc) are to be satisfactorily solved/answered. Infra-structural facilities (construction/expansion of ports, extraction of ground water, construction of essential roads and other communication facilities) need to be developed without putting stress on the coastal environment or worst degrading the eco-system. The vision of ICZM in West Bengal is therefore to ensure minimum but acceptable planned intervention for development needs in the coastal zone so as to preserve the pristine nature of the prevailing environment making allowances for sustainable exploitation of living and non-living resources for the livelihood of the coastal population.

On a broad perspective/scale, the strategy for ICZM will be to understand, analyse and address implications of development plans and their threshold limits to cause environmental degradation, conflicting uses and interrelationships between coastal physical and biological processes and anthropogenic activities. The emphasis will be to promote linkages and harmonization among sectoral coastal and ocean activities requiring cooperative management and inter-sectoral coordination through full involvement of all the stakeholders in a comprehensive and integrated program. In essence the strategy will be to

  • Minimize costly delays in project implementation
  • Minimize damage  to the coastal environment and its resources
  • Minimize losses to the various users (from resource depletion, loss of land, access limitation, etc)
  • Promote most efficient use of infrastructure, resources, favourable environmental situations, favourable coastal processes
  • Avoid conflicting use of coastal and marine resources and environment
The strategic need for ICZM will be to collect and generate relevant data and extraction of information from the synthesis of the data on resources of the coastal zone, its vulnerability to natural disasters, extent of fragility of the eco-system, role of coastal processes to sustain the coastal environment, extent of pollution of the coastal environment, current land use of the coastal zone and livelihood of the coastal population.