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Protection of Coastal Areas from Rising Sea Level

Delhi 

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Recently released Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that global mean sea level has risen by 190 mm over the period 1901-2010. The satellite based linear trend during 1993-2011 is estimated to be 3.20.5mm/year that is about 60% higher than the best estimate of 2.0mm/year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2007 assessment report. However, the estimated sea level rise by the tide gauge records (of over 200) for the period 1993-2009 is found to be about 2.80.8mm/year. .

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Government has carried out mapping and demarcating of multi-hazard coastal vulnerability for the entire coast of India. Based on the recommendations of the expert committee report of the Prof M. S. Swaminathan, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is making efforts to implement an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan for India instead of uniform Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) framework. Accordingly, the Central Government has issued CRZ-2011 notification with a view to ensure livelihood security to the fisher communities and other local communities living in the coastal areas. .

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The MoEF had launched an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project by establishing a Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM). Under the project, SICOM would be implementing the four components, namely, (i) National Coastal Management Programme; (ii) ICZM-West Bengal; (iii) ICZM-Orissa; (iv) ICZM-Gujarat. National component includes (a) Demarcation of hazard line for mapping the entire coastline of the mainland of the country; (b) A National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) has been established within the campus of Anna University, Chennai with its regional centres in each of the coastal States/Union territories to promote research and development in the area of coastal management including addressing issues of coastal communities. In general, it is expected that east coast of India will be more vulnerable than the west coast because of its low lying nature and hence the tendency of coastal flooding will rise if the sea level rises significantly. Multi-hazard approach that fully accounts for holistic coastal vulnerability arising from the Earthquake, Cyclones, Flood, Storm Surge and Tsunami etc. is considered for developing hazard resistant design criteria for construction of on-shore infrastructure viz. houses, buildings, special economic zones (SEZs), ports, construction of bridges for evacuation of habitants in low lying zones like Sundarbans, Bay Islands etc., Industrial and Infrastructure Corridors. Future projections of sea level involve uncertainties which make it difficult to predict impacts with sufficient level of confidence. Indias National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) outlines a strategy that aims to enable the country adapt to climate change and enhances the ecological sustainability of our development path. .

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This information was given by Minister of Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan in Rajya Sabha today. .

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First Published: Thu, February 26 2015. 00:20 IST