Lagoons, Lives & Livelihoods
NATIONAL CENTRE FOR SUSTAINABLE COASTAL MANAGEMENT [NCSCM] & Society of Integrated Coastal Management [SICOM] Ministry of Environment and Forests
Date and Time
15 October 2012 18:15 - 19:45
The prime focus of this side event is on the significant interrelationships between lagoon ecosystem biodiversity and the socio-economic development of the local communities. The intrinsic management issues existing between a network of communities surrounding a lagoon system and their ecosystem goods and services will be highlighted. Three diverse case studies that combine traditional knowledge, degree of community participation in management; and conservation measures to maintain ecological integrity will be emphasized. Success stories from Chilika and Pulicat Lagoons of mainland India and the Lakshadweep Islands indicating the community’s response to manage the lagoons effectively; despite pressures from coastal development, improved technology and the continued evolution of social systems will be emphasized. The Chilika Lagoon, Odisha, is one of the hotspots of biodiversity in India, comprising of rare, vulnerable and endangered species listed in the IUCN Red List of threatened animals inhabiting the lagoon for atleast part of their life cycle. This lagoon is a highly productive ecosystem, with rich fishery resources and their rich fishing ground sustain the livelihood of more than 20 million fisherfolk who live surrounding the Lagoon. Chilika’s degraded conditions placed the lagoon in the Montreux record in the year 1993. However, successful “eco-restoration” of the lagoon has resulted in the removal from the record. This is the first site from Asia to be removed from the Montreux record. It is a perfect example of how the restoration of a wetland with ecosystem approach that restores the ecological integrity ameliorating the biodiversity of a wetland, and contribute significantly towards the improvement of livelihood of the local community due to increase in the productivity. The other interesting case study is a customary marine tenure system in Tamil Nadu, known as “Padu”, which highlights traditional institutional mechanisms for resource management.“Padu” refers to the ‘ﬁshing place’, and is a traditionalmethod for distributing access to ﬁshing grounds amongst eligiblemembers of a particular community.This case study highlights the strengths and fisher loyalty to uphold the Padu system despites several pressures such as expanding fishing population, reduced access to fishing grounds and a growing ‘shared poverty’. The key messages include: i) lagoon biodiversity supports livelihoods with a wide range of social and economic benefits that need to be conserved; ii) conservation of ecosystem integrity by “keystone species” that enhance life (biodiversity) in the lagoon and support diverse livelihoods. Examples from successful case studies, would elicit the importance of management in conservation and the sustainable use efforts. The side event would commence with a documentary film on the Chilika Lagoon and on the Pulicat and Lakshadweep lagoon systems, highlighting the importance of people’s participation in biodiversity conservation and wise use of natural resources. This would be followed by a panel discussion comprising eminent international, national experts and members of the local lagoon communities on the need to strengthen ecosystem and community based management strategies. Eminent Panelists include: 1. Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Member of Parliament 2. Prof. K. Kasturirangan, Member, Planning Commission 3. Dr. Anada Tiéga, Secretary General, Ramsar Convention Secretariat 4. Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences 5. Dr. Ajit Pattnaik, Chief, Chilika Development Authority 6. Prof. Alice Newton, Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) 7. Prof. Eric Wollanski, Australian Institute of Marine Science 8. Representatives from Chilika and Pulicat Lake Fishermen Communities In addition, a wide range of Posters depicting case studies of high social, scientific and technological relevance from all the coastal ecosystems of India (coral reef, mangroves, seagrass, sand dunes etc), including a 3-D model will be displayed.