GS 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

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The Centre has identified over 100 coastal and marine sites as conservation reserves under its National Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031, says a biennial report released by the government.


Under the National Wildlife Action Plan for the period 2017 to 2031, the government is working towards the conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems from the impacts of climate change. In the last four and a half years, India has not only been able to sustain but also increase its mangrove cover at a time when these ecosystems are disappearing at an alarming rate across the world.

India’s rich marine wealth:

  • As per the report, India has rich coastal and marine wealth along the eastern and western coasts as well as the Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands. The coastal and marine sector is also a source of valuable fish protein not only for the growing population but also contributes to the global food basket and in turn provides valuable foreign exchange to the country. “India produced 3.8 million metric tonnes of seafood during 2017, valued at Rs 5.28 lakh million at landing centre and Rs 8 lakh million at the retail level.
  • The fisheries sector supports around 9.3 lakh active and part-time fishers, one of the largest workforces of fishers in the world, the report said.
  • India is encouraging participation of local communities in governance by recognising the conservation reserves.
  • India is implementing measures to sustainably harness the potential of blue economy while building the climate resilience of the ecosystems and local coastal communities.

3rd NWAP 2017-2031:

  • Mitigation of human-wildlife conflict, coastal and marine ecosystem conservation and a focus on wildlife health are among the key areas.
  • The draft emphasises on aspects like preservation of genetic diversity and sustainable utilization of species and ecosystems. This has a direct bearing on the country’s scientific advancements and support to millions of rural communities.
  • The first NWAP was adopted in 1983, while the second was adopted in 2002, which ended in 2017.
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