Marine & Coastal Resilience: A workshop for building collaborative action, based on shared learnings.
The coasts support approximately 30% of India’s 1.2 billion population. Coastal ecosystems comprising mudflats, sandy beaches, estuaries, creeks, mangroves, coral reefs, marshes, lagoons, seagrass beds, and sandy and rocky beaches extend to 42,808 km2.
Numerous direct and indirect pressures arising from different types of economic development and associated activities have adverse impacts on coastal and marine biodiversity across the country. Major anthropogenic direct drivers of ecosystem degradation and destruction include habitat conversion to other forms of land use, overexploitation of resources and associated destructive harvesting practices, spread of invasive alien species, pollution from domestic, agricultural and industrial effluents and climate change. With an aim to reserve these adverse impacts, The Sustainable Development Goals create a framework to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems from land-based pollution, as well as to address the impacts of ocean acidification. Enhancing conservation and the sustainable use of ocean-based resources through international law, will help mitigate some of the challenges facing our oceans. Protecting our oceans, SDG 14: Life below water, is one of 17 global goals that form the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across multiple goals.
With this goal in mind, IUCN and C-Scapes came together and organized a workshop. Challenges related to climate change and biodiversity loss are rapidly rising on the national agenda. In the context of our responsibilities to, and dependence upon, the ocean, we need to urgently act on the learnings from MFF, and other coastal conservation initiatives across the country to meet the challenges facing our coasts.
The workshop was held on 31st January, 2020 in New Delhi, India. IUCN and C-SCAPES partnered to organise the workshop, which met two objectives:
1) It developed a multi-disciplinary learning & advisory network, to guide strategic actions for coastal conservation action & impact in India, particularly addressing climate change
2) A roadmap was designed for strengthened, integrated socio-ecological action & impact that builds on existing work, and meets current & future needs in coastal conservation and resilience-building.
Dr. Vivek Saxena (Country Representative, IUCN India) welcomed everyone to the workshop and gave a brief overview of its background and objectives. And each of the attendees shared their views and opinions that shaped a plan of action.
The goal of this partnership is to strengthen climate services (i.e. the production, analyses, interpretation, and communication of information, and implementation of policy and practice), with a focus on adaptation and resilience building in coastal India. The objectives include:
• Accelerate the implementation of existing, successful nature-based solutions to building coastal resilience to climate change
• Strengthen collaborative and interdisciplinary research to guide the production and tailoring of climate information to meet context-specific needs
• Strengthen local capacities to plan, finance implement and monitor coastal climate adaptation solutions and strategies
• Equip governments, multilateral donors, and the private sector with the knowledge to prioritize responsible and meaningful investments and actions that advance coastal climate change resilience across India.
• Produce the data and evidence necessary to monitor progress on national climate commitments.