India’s Coastal Regulation Zone Notification 2011-Tipping the Scales Towards Environmental Sustainability?

 

Sushmita Purohit
Independent Researcher/Guest Researcher,
The Research Centre for European Environmental Law (FEU),
University of Bremen,
Universitätsallee, GW1,
28359 Bremen, Germany
sushpurohit@gmail.com

Till Markus
Senior Researcher,
The Research Centre for European Environmental Law (FEU),
University of Bremen,
Universitätsallee, GW1,
28359 Bremen, Germany
tmarkus@uni-bremen.de

 

 

 


 

India’s coastline and its nearshore marine environment are increasingly being pressurised by multiple uses and exploitation interests. Economic, planning and environmental laws need to respond to this development and provide a clear vision of the direction in which India’s coasts should develop. Any new or modified laws particularly need to provide answers on how to balance ecological, economic, and social interests. Among all of India’s laws which govern activities in its coastal and marine areas, the ‘Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011’ was specifically chosen to target this particular challenge. First adopted in 1991, it has been amended 25 times, with the latest amendment in early 2011. Though different positive developments can be identified within the development of the CRZ Notification, it is argued here that there is plenty of room for substantial improvement of the law. This article will provide a critical assessment of the current version of the CRZ Notification and develop some ideas and concepts that might increase its effectiveness in maintaining ecological, economic, and social stability and prosperity. Both the recent reform of the CRZ Notification and the fact that the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has recently given its approval to begin work on replacing the CRZ Notification with an Act of Parliament provide a good opportunity to reignite the debate about the future of India’s coastal areas.

 

CRZ Notification, 2011, India; coastal zone protection; coastal zone management; coastal zone planning; development of coastal zones; Indian marine environmental law and policy.

 

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