Indian economy is diverse and distinct. It is home to a number of varying sectors, some of which are not talked about enough. Let us today talk about one such part of the economy, which provides a large amount of employment to people who live near the sea areas and also has a major share in the overall economic development of the country.
We are talking about the coastal economy of the country, which is very important for our growing economy. It contributes to nearly 4% of the total GDP. The people in the coastal areas rely on the coastal economy as it provides them with their basic livelihood. Therefore, the growth of the coastal economy is very important for our country. However, it should always be kept in our mind that any growth which is not sustainable is directly harmful to the environment and the people.
In this article, we will learn how the country can sustainably develop the coastal economy and how is it important. But to learn about everything, we should start from the basics, right?
The coastal economy is a part of the country’s economy which includes nearshore areas as well as shoreline, coastal and watershed country aggregates. This includes all the economic activities done in that region. The coastal economy, with more and more development, daily is growing at a very fast pace. It plays a major role in providing employment to a large mass of people living in those areas and therefore reduces the problem of unemployment and makes people more independent.
However, it should be ensured that the fast growth in this sector should be through sustainable ways, or else might hamper the growth of the economy rather than helping the economy to grow. With over 7500+ km spread coastal lines which are spread across nine states and 12 major ports, the coastal economy facilitates 95% of the total business through transportation which shows how important it is to the nation.
Talking about the sustainable development of this economy in the UK one recent news provided that six new projects that aim to sustainably develop the coastal economy and its environment have been announced. Similar projects have been started to launch in India to sustainably develop the coastal environment. You might wonder why sustainable development is important? Well, we have the answer.
Ever since the process of development started, we have forgotten that we are solely responsible for the condition of the environment. We have always used the environment for the sake of our good and have never considered the protection of the environment. All the ignorance has now led to a rise in pollution, global warming and many more environmental problems. With all the rising threats in the world, the need for sustainable development rises. Sustainable development encourages us to conserve and enhance our resource base by changing our ways of development. The need to sustainably develop the coastal region rises every day as it will gradually help the country to grow.
The coastal economy of the country is worth nearly Rs 600 crore but the people living there are facing increased pressure due to the rising climate change, threats to the aquatic wildlife and rising economic challenges.
Seagrass, which is very important in supporting the coastal wildlife is very important for the sustainable development of the coastal economy. Researchers and policymakers are constantly making efforts to know how and where the meadows of seagrass can be grown in the country. Seagrass plays two major roles in the sustainable development of the economy- improving the productivity of fisheries and reducing the ever-rising greenhouse gases by capturing them. However, the level of seagrass is falling every single day majorly due to pollution and disturbance in the environment created by us people.
Flooding and coastal erosion, which is recently rising is also a major threat to the growing coastal economy. You might be wondering that flood is a natural phenomenon, and the rising floods are not due to the people. Well, you are wrong. Undoubtedly, flooding is a natural phenomenon. However, there are some human-driven elements that lead to the rising floods. The way we manage our waterways and the alteration to the land that we do in order to facilitate development also leads to rising floods. Coastal erosion leads to the loss of ecosystem and land and damages the structures. Globally, coastal erosion leads to roughly $500 million per year.
The coastal economy is the most vulnerable to the rising climate change in the world. The rising climate change poses as a great challenge to the coastal economy and its people. This directly impacts the people who depend on the coastal economy to sustain their livelihood.
The widely research projects in recent years will provide a better understanding of how the coastal economy can be sustainably developed. A sustainable future for the marine economy becomes a necessity as this coastal economy provides employment to the huge population of the country.
What has led to the poor condition of the coastal economy?
Millions of people currently depend on the coastal economy to earn their livelihood. However, the negligent behaviour of the people has led to this degrading condition of the coastal economy. The riding climate change is one of the biggest factors in this degradation. The rising number of industries and their non eco-friendly methods of working has led to this destruction of the climate. Moreover, the rising fishing is destroying marine life.
The rising level of fishing is due to the rising population and the pressure is directly on the environment. Water pollution has been very harmful to our environment and is still rising which poses a major threat to the coastal economy.
Climate change is already impacting the ecosystem of the country’s coastal economy and is destroying the livelihood of the people who are dependent on it. The government has recently been raising their concern about the coastal economy and new projects are announced every day for the sustainable development of the coastal economy. However, one thing which must be kept in our mind is that only the government can never succeed to develop a sustainable coastal economy.
The public must cooperate with the government in order to protect the coastal economy. The environment is ours and we are responsible for its protection. To protect the livelihood of a large population, the government, as well as the people, should do what is their part. The number of researches is rising every day in order to sustainably develop the coastal economy which is the need of the hour, and with this development, we can guarantee that there will a brighter future for the coastal economy.
Edited by Aishwarya Ingle