Background & Context
The Indian coastal stretch is made up of diverse ecosystems - sand dunes, beaches, wetlands, mangroves, estuaries, backwater lagoons and coral reefs. Settlements of traditional people comprising about 10 million fisherfolk, are concentrated in these areas, as they mainly depend on coastal resources and seas for their survival. Several activities are affecting the coast such as unregulated tourism, polluting industries, infrastructure, aquaculture, sand mining, construction of sea walls and rapid urbanization pose serious threats to the health of these ecosystems and to lives and livelihoods of coastal communities. The recent 2004 tsunami has shown that the coast is a naturally vulnerable area and that these activities have worsened the impacts on coastal people.
The Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, issued in 1991 using the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 is the most significant and specialized legislation regulating developmental activities along the coast.