India to study impact of global warming on coastal areas

NEW DELHI: India Wednesday said it would initiate “hazard mapping” across its coastline to study the impact of global warming and assist in protecting coastal communities and infrastructure.

The study will be done within a span of four-and-half years using an aerial mapping system by the Survey of India through a World Bank-funded project — Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM).

The environment ministry and the ministry of science and technology signed a memorandum of understanding in this regard Wednesday.

The project in the first phase will focus on three of the eight coastal states — Orissa, Gujarat and West Bengal.

“The elaborate and extensive exercise of mapping, delineation and demarcation of the hazard lines along the coastline, which is being done for the first time at a cost of Rs.125 crore, will greatly assist in protecting coastal communities and coastal infrastructure,” said Science and Technology Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

Under the project, the hazard line for the coasts in three states will be mapped and delineated. This will include collection and presentation of data on identifying flood lines over the last century and predictions of the erosions to take place over the next 100 years.

The special focus of the project will be identification and demarcation of coastal fragile areas like mangroves, brackish water wetlands and coral reefs, based on which a new category of “Critically Vulnerable Coastal Areas” (CVCAs) would be designated and appropriate management plans implemented for their preservation and regeneration.

“The project assumes special significance in the context of climate change since one of the definitive findings of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) relates to the increase in mean sea levels as a result of global warming,” said Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.

Ramesh said the hazard mapping will mark the danger areas due to global warming and will be based on four factors — receding shore lines, waves, tides and mean sea level rise.

From TOI

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