Empowering local communities to take care of our beaches

An interactive and exploratory session, titled 'A Tide Turns', at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on February 6th to look at community-led monitoring of shoreline changes

Sandy beaches are a prominent feature along the 7500 km coastline that envelopes either side of peninsular India. These are dynamic zones that support coastal communities as well as marine and terrestrial life forms. Could these local communities play an active role in monitoring the shoreline, creating a knowledge base and eventually, a baseline for appropriate action towards disaster risk reduction as well as recreation of a healthy coastline?

This will be the focus of ‘A Tide Turns’ — an interactive and exploratory event organised by SNEHA and LAW Trust of Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, the volunteers of Karaikal and Cuddalore and the Social and Ecological Stewardship Programme of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.

The Shoreline Change Atlas of the Indian coast indicates that 45.5% of our coast is under erosion. Most satellites provide two dimensional images, from which it is not possible to discern the locale specific changing dynamics of elevation, erosion, accretion and sand quality of beaches.

Moreover, given the extensive length of India’s coast line, its administrative jurisdiction under ten states makes it very difficult for government agencies to monitor the coast. With a marine fishing village located at about every 2 km along the coast, community monitoring using citizen’s science can provide the necessary data for understanding the changing dynamics of our beaches. More importantly, such engagement provides a platform to usher in coastal resource stewardship.

The above has been tested with the Beach Profile Monitoring Programme, that uses barefoot technology and a citizen’s science approach providing scientifically accurate data. Beach Profiling involves making topographic profiles of the beach using the Adapted Emery Method for Beach Profiling. The equipment and method has been successfully tested and used for over a year and a half in Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu.

The half-day-event on February 6th will include

  • Interaction, sharing of learning and insights gained from the ongoing  journey of engaging with coastal communities to monitor shoreline changes along the coast of Karaikal, Puducherry and Cuddalore, Nagapattinam from 2014 till date
  • Release of reports on shoreline data collected as part of the Beach Profile  Monitoring Programme form 2015 to 2016 for Karaikal, Puducherry and Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu
  • Release of a book,   ‘A Tide Turns: Handbook for Coastal Communities to Monitor Shoreline changes’
  • Certificates of appreciation to community volunteers and organisations of the Beach Profile Monitoring Programme
  • Round table discussion on ‘Community Engagement for a Healthy Indian Coast:  Current status, issues and required system shifts in the context of natural and manmade disasters’ chaired by Prof. S. Parasuraman, Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
Date: 6th February 2017

Time: 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm

Venue: Library Conference Hall, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, V.N. Purav Marg,     Deonar, Mumbai- 400088

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/206815186457469/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Smothered by smog: Struggle of vegetable vendors in Delhi’s Keshopur Mandi

Delhi's air pollution affects every resident, but for the urban poor, like vegetable vendors of Keshopur Mandi, it is much worse.

Halfway through our interview, vegetable vendor Rekha asked me point blank, “Isse kya hoga,” and at that moment, I could not think of an answer. She was right and had every reason to be hopeless. Much has been written about air pollution and much energy has been spent on expert committees and political debates and yet nothing has changed.  “Hum toh garib log hai, hum kisko jakar bole, hamari sunvai nahin hoti” (We are poor people, to whom do we go, nobody listens to us),” says Rekha Devi, who sells vegetables in the Keshopur Mandi. Keshopur is a large retail…

Similar Story

Study shows TNPCB ill-equipped to monitor the environmental impact of pollution

The scientific team of TNPCB is working at half its strength, affecting the Board's ability to carry out inspections in Chennai and other parts of the State.

The Central Pollution Control Board and the State Pollution Control Boards are the primary custodians for preventing and controlling all forms of pollution in our country. Despite their significant role in environmental protection, the public is mostly unaware of the functions of these regulatory bodies, due to insufficient research. Therefore, we at Citizen consumer & civic Action Group (CAG) have attempted to understand the functions of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), through a study titled ‘The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board in Retrospect: An Examination of Selected Parameters from 2017 to 2022.’ Read more: Fisherfolk lament as environmental…