Centre for Environment & Social Concerns

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Gujarat State Workshop

10 11 December 2004

Coastal Communities: Livelihoods & Resource Management Concerns

a joint initiative of

Protsahan, Paryavaran Vikas Kendra (PVK) & Centre for Environment & Social Concerns (CESC)

 

The 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.

 

The 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.

 

Despite 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.

 

Protsahan has 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.

 

This 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. 

Plan for the Workshop

 

Some of themes for different sessions of the workshop are: 

 

q       Reviewing the current situation

q       Issues of livelihoods in different sectors and of different communities

q       Problems of resource management & peculiarities of the coastal environment of Gujarat

q       Developing strategies for working together

q       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 technical experts.

 

Local Convenor:

Program Coordinator: Convenor:

Tushar Pancholi

Paryavaran Vikas Kendra

Rajkot, Gujarat

Mobile: 9825536120

e-mail: greenearth2@rediffmail.com

Geevan C.P.

Centre for Environment & Social Concerns

Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Mobile: 9824283954/ 9374331589

e-mail: cpgeevan@rediffmail.com

Nalini Nayak

PROSTSAHAN

92 Mathrubhumi Road, Thiruvananthapuram 695035, Kerala

Tel: 0471-2479988 Fax: 0471-2574939

e-mail: admin@protsahan.org / tvm_nalinin@sancharnet.in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Questions/ Comments/ Suggestions: Mail to info@cesc-india.org

Last modified: August 14, 2007