The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is embarking on a new National Coastal Mission. With this objective in view, Environment Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan will dedicate the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) to the nation at Chennai, tomorrow. The Minister will inaugurate the new building of the Centre and research infrastructure at Anna University campus in Chennai. He pointed out that the research undertaken by NCSCM will be used directly for arriving at policy decisions and for capacity building of coastal communities and other stakeholders. In a statement on the eve of his departure for Chennai, the Minister said that the focus of the Government in coastal states is sustainable livelihood, development of coastal communities through various R&D and policy initiatives. He also added that six research divisions have been established at NCSCM that will combine geospatial sciences with cutting-edge research on conservation, pollution, climate change and community interface – both in mainland and islands of the country. He also added that the NCSCM’s core strength is the multi-disciplinary nature of coastal system research for the well-being of coastal communities and promoting sustainable development based on scientific principles.Outlining the objectives behind the establishment of National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the objectives include - Promoting integrated and sustainable management of the coastal and marine areas in the country for the benefit and well-being of the traditional coastal and island communities; Strengthening capacity of coastal management at all levels, including stakeholders; Advising Union and State governments and other associated stakeholders on policy and scientific matters related to Integrated Coastal Zone Management; Striving to become a world class institution through cutting-edge research pertaining to understanding coastal zones, coastal processes, integrated planning and management of coastal and marine areas.
The Minister also emphasised that the NCSCM, along with other Ministries and State/UT governments will also strive to scientifically map the cumulative vulnerability of coastal environment to climate change and consequent threats to ecology, lives and livelihoods; develop vulnerability-based environment and adaptive management plans for key sectors by (i) mainstreaming climate sensitivity and readiness into all coastal developmental projects and (ii) Promoting development taking into account the threats due to natural hazards in the coastal areas and sea-level rise; build resilience of coastal communities (fishermen, agriculturists etc) and develop infrastructure and settlements in urban and rural areas; conserve and protect coastal stretches, its unique environment and its marine area by enhancing mitigation (blue carbon ecosystems which include mangroves, seagrass meadows and salt marsh ecosystems) and build institutional capacity – both sector-wise and for community. Dr. Harsh Vardhan also said that he has a vision to develop this Centre as a world-class institution. He also mentioned that R&D and the policy inputs that would be generated here would not only help our country, but would also help all SAARC nations.