– 11 December 2004
Coastal Communities: Livelihoods & Resource
a joint initiative of
state of Gujarat has the longest coastline among all the Indian states and is
characterised by many peculiarities. The coastlines of the Gulf of Khambhat and
Kutch together cover about 2/3rd of the coastline of the state.
Gujarat has emerged as the biggest producer of marine fish in India in the 1990s
contributing more than one-fifth of the national marine fish production. The
state also accounts for over two-thirds of the salt production of the country.
In addition, a significant population of graziers, some of whom are nomadic,
also depend on the coastal resources, the coastal pastures and mangroves in
particular. A large number of other marginalized communities also depend on
coastal resources such as the common lands along the coast.
ecological conditions vary enormously along the coasts of the two gulfs. The
Gulf of Khambhat is characterised by very high tidal amplitudes, greater
rainfall and freshwater discharges from several large rivers like Narmada, Tapi,
Sabarmati, etc while the Gulf of Kutch is marked by highly arid climate and very
little freshwater inflows. Large patches of mangrove forests remain along the
Gulf of Kutch. The livelihoods of the marginalized communities in these regions
are closely dependent on the ecological resources. However, the livelihoods of
these communities today are not only unsustainable but also threatened by
various kinds of developments along the coast or in the coastal waters (oil
exploration & drilling, ports and jetties, industries, etc.). With the
present priorities of development and increasing emphasis on privatisation, the
future of both the livelihoods of the coastal communities and the integrity of
the coastal environment are in jeopardy. Unfortunately, there does not seem to
be adequate awareness of these threats.
the difficult challenges and the diversity of issues, there have not been too
many people to people or community-to-community contacts to facilitate
experience sharing and for developing common strategies for securing livelihoods
or for wise management of precious resources.
Livelihood security and responsible resource management are difficult
challenges and cooperation among the diverse coastal communities is essential to
address these challenges.
initiated some efforts at engaging the fishing communities in a dialogue to find
workable and acceptable solutions to the crisis-ridden fisheries sector. It is
proposed to widen this effort by enabling the involvement of other marginalized
communities living along the coast. This is a part of the commitment to promote
community awareness and participation for protecting livelihoods and wise
management of resources. Paryavaran Vikas Kendra and the Centre for
Environment & Social Concerns are working together with Protsahan
to develop a long-term program to promote community-to-community contacts and
coordination among coastal communities along the Gujarat coast for securing
livelihoods and responsible management of resources.
workshop is being organised as a part of this effort. We hope this workshop will
help the communities and NGOs to strategise collectively in enhancing the rights
of coastal communities to the coastal resources while at the same time exploring
livelihood alternatives and work for conserving the coastal environment.
for the Workshop
Some of themes for different sessions of the workshop
Reviewing the current situation
Issues of livelihoods in different sectors and of
Problems of resource management & peculiarities of
the coastal environment of Gujarat
Developing strategies for working together
Promoting network of the different coastal communities
The workshop will attempt to forge a lasting alliance
of different organisations, and more importantly to develop a coastal
communities network. The participants will include representatives from
different coastal communities, NGOs working with these communities, and a few