Concept, approaches and applications of integrated coastal zone management in planning and management of Indian coast
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The Indian coastal region has a privileged combination of valuable nature resources and unique landscape. That is why living on the coast and utilising these natural resources are as old a process as the origin of civilisation. As per the last census (1991) in India, the coastal areas have become the focal point of rapid development. Therefore, many of the problems encountered in the coastal zone result in conflict between the broader concepts of conservation versus development. The goal of coastal planning and management in India is to achieve a balance between these two. In order to regulate coastal development and to ensure minimisation of long term problems, a specific coastal legislation namely Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) was enacted in the year 1991 defining the various zones. This CRZ is an environmental legislation attempting to regulate the relationship between people, their activities and the coastal environment. Unfortunately, it has not achieved a balance between the human activities and the environmental interests. Since, no government guidelines and regulation can be successfully implemented without strong public participation, Government of India has initiated a more integrated and balanced approach towards planning and management of coastal zone. This paper highlights the need for implementation of such an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) program as a prioritised national program in India.
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