What does ENVIS stands for?
ENVIS Stands for Environment Information System
What is ENVIS?
Environmental information plays a vital role not only in formulating environmental management policies but also in the decision making process aiming at environmental protection and improvement of environment for sustaining good quality of life for the living beings. Hence, management of environment is key component and thus plays an important role in effecting a balance between the demands and resources available for keeping the environmental quality at a satisfactory level. Realizing such need Ministry set up an Environmental Information System (ENVIS) in 1983 as a plan programme as a comprehensive network in environmental information collection, collation, storage, retrieval and dissemination to varying users, which include decision-makers, researchers, academicians, policy planners and research scientists, etc. ENVIS was conceived as a distributed information network with the subject-specific centers to carry out the mandates and to provide the relevant and timely information to all concerned. Further, association of the various State Governments/UTs was also felt necessary in promoting the ENVIS network to cover a wide range of subjects. The subject area for States/UTs ENVIS Centers was the status of environment and related issues. Thus, the network was expanded gradually with the involvement of thematic subject-areas and State Government/UT departments to make it a more comprehensive environmental information network. ENVIS network at present consists of a chain of 67 network partners out of which 39 are on subject-specific and 28 on State/UT related issues. These network partners are called ENVIS Centers and are located in the notable organizations/institutions/State/UT Government Departments/Universities throughout the country. The focal point of ENVIS is located in the Ministry and assists the Environment Information (EI) Division in coordinating the activities of all the ENVIS network partners by making ENVIS a web-enabled comprehensive information system.
What is the total number of ENVIS centres?
There are total 76 Envis Centres all over India, which are assigned with different subjects and topics.
Why is there a need for a Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011?
The Ministry of Environment and Forests had issued the Coastal Regulation Zone CRZ) Notification on 19.2.1991 under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, with the aim to provide comprehensive measures for the protection and on servation of our coastal environment. However, over the last two decades the following issues emerged while implementing the 1991 Notification:
- The 1991 Notification stipulated uniform regulations for the entire Indian coastline which includes 5500 Km coastline of the mainland and 2000 Km of coastline of the islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep. It, therefore, failed to take into account that the Indian coastline is highly diverse in terms of biodiversity, hydrodynamic conditions, demographic patterns, natural resources, geomorphological and geological features.
- In the 1991 Notification, no clear procedure for obtaining CRZ clearance was laid down and no time lines stipulated. Furthermore, there was no format given for the submission of clearance applications.
- It may be noted that the 1991 Notification, also did not provide a post clearance monitoring mechanism or a clear cut enforcement mechanism to check violations.
- The 1991 Notification sought to regulate all developmental activities in the inter-tidal area and within 500 metres on the landward side. No concrete steps were indicated in the 1991 Notification with regard to the pollution emanating from land based activities.
- The restrictive nature of the 1991 Notification caused hardships to the persons/ communities living in certain ecologically sensitive coastal stretches. These included slum dwellers and other persons living in dilapidated and unsafe buildings in Mumbai, communities living in islands in the backwaters of Kerala, local communities living along the coast of Goa and other traditional coastal inhabitants.
- The 1991 Notification has been amended almost 25 times in consideration of requests made by various State Governments, Central Ministries, NGOs etc. In addition, there are also several office orders issued by Ministry of Environment and Forests clarifying certain provisions. The frequent changes to the 1991 Notification have been consolidated in the 2011 Notification.
The 2011 Notification takes into account and address all the above issues in a comprehensive manner, relying on the recommendations made in the “Final Frontier” Report by the Committee chaired by Dr. M.S. Swaminathan on Coastal Regulation and the fi ndings of the various consultations held in various coastal States and Union territories. The Minister of State (I/C) personally presided over the consultations in Goa, Chennai, Puri, Kochi and Mumbai.
What are the objectives of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011?
The main objectives of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011 are:
- To ensure livelihood security to the fishing communities and other local communities living in the
- To conserve and protect coastal stretches and;
- To promote development in a sustainable manner based on scientific principles, taking into account the dangers of natural hazards in the coastal areas and sea level rise due to global warming.
What are the new provisions contained in the 2011 Notification to benefi t the fisher-folk community?
Since the fishing communities traditionally live in the coastal areas, they have been given primary importance when drafting the CRZ Notification 2011.
One of the stated objectives of the Notification is “to ensure livelihood security to the fisher communities and other local communities, living in the coastal areas and to promote development through sustainable manner based on scientific principles taking into account the dangers of natural hazards in the coastal areas, sea level rise due to global warming.”
The following are the provisions in the 2011 Notification that address the issues relating to fishermen community:-
Water area up to 12 nautical miles and the tidal influenced water bodies have been included under the Coastal Regulation Zone areas in order to:
- Control the discharge of untreated sewage, effluents and the disposal of solid wastes as such activities endanger the fish and their ecosystem;
- Conserve and protect habitats in the marine area such as corals and coral reefs and associated biodiversity, marine sanctuaries and biosphere reserves, sea grass beds etc. which act as spawning, nursery and rearing grounds for fish and fisheries;
- Regulate activities in the marine and coastal waters such as dredging, sand mining, discharge of waste from ships, construction like groynes, breakwaters, etc. including reclamation which have serious impacts on fishing and allied activities;
- Enable studies of the coastal and marine waters with regard to the impact of climate change and the occurrence of disasters which have serious impacts on the livelihood and property of the fisher-folk communities;
It may be noted that no restrictions are being imposed on any fishing activities and allied activities of the traditional fishing communities in this area.
- At several coastal stretches of the country the fi shermen and their dwelling units are in danger due to erosion which is occurring primarily due to manmade activities. The development of such manmade foreshore activities shall be regulated after identifying and demarcating the coast as falling in the high eroding category, the medium eroding category or the stable sites category.
- While preparing the Coastal Zone Management Plans the infrastructures essential for fishing communities must be clearly demarcated and fishing Zones in the water bodies and the fish breeding areas shall also be clearly marked.
- The 2011 Notification requires the Coastal Zone Management Authorities to invite comments on the draft Coastal Zone Management Plan from stakeholders. This will ensure that for the fi rst time, local communities including fishermen communities will have a say in the preparation of the CZMPs.
- The Notification allows infrastructural facilities for the local fishing communities to be constructed in the CRZ-III area.
- Reconstruction, repair works of dwelling units of local communities including fisheries in accordance with local Town and Country Planning Regulations has been made permissible.
- In CRZ-III areas where 0-200 metres is a No Development Zone (NDZ), to meet The demands of dwelling units of traditional coastal communities including 8 fisher-folk, the NDZ has been reduced to 100 metres. Hence, dwelling units of such communities can be constructed 100-200 metres from High Tide Line along the seafront with the approval of the State Government and the MoEF.
Which are the Ramsar cites in Kerala?
The important Ramsar cites in Kerala are:
• VEMBANAD - KOL WETLAND (VKW)
• ASHTAMUDI WETLAND
• SASTHAMKOTTA LAKE (SL)
Which are the biosphere reserves in Kerala?
The Indian government has established 17 Biosphere Reserves of India, which protect larger areas of natural and often include one or more National Parks and/or preserves, along buffer zones that are open to some economic uses. Protection is granted not only to the flora and fauna of the protected region, but also to the human communities who inhabit these regions, and their ways of life.Of these two were located in Kerala.
- Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
- Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve