Govt ignoring marine biodiversity: Activists

Concerned organisations such as National Coastal Protection Campaign, Dakshin Foundation, PondyCAN, Kalpavriksh, ICSF Trust and Greenpeace India on Tuesday said that India is not doing enough to conserve its marine and coastal biodiversity even though Indian Ocean is among the richest in the world on this front.

“On the occasion of the CBD COP 11, India can announce significant steps to curtail this kind of reckless development and to ensure the conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity,” they demanded.

In a release here on Tuesday the group pointed out that an unprecedented scale of “development” along the east and west coast of India is taking place; this includes ports, power plants, ship yards, coastal armouring, aquaculture and so on, spelling doom for large tracts of inter-tidal and near-shore marine areas.

These developments will make already vulnerable traditional and artisanal fisher folk more vulnerable, destroying or displacing livelihoods.

Andhra Pradesh is proposing 10 new ports, 15 new thermal power projects (eight of them in Krishnapatnam area in Nellore district) and several other power plants with undisclosed or uncertain locations. Additionally, Andhra Pradesh has 70 SEZs proposed in 15 districts, including a staggering five million acres in a coastal corridor that will include airports, sea ports, ship-breaking, pharmaceutical, petrochemical apparel units and captive thermal power stations.

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