Coastal Communities to be made more Climate Resilient in Odisha

bhubaneswar: In another step towards enhancing climate resilience of coastal communities, the State Government has decided to implement a community-based action plan from the current year. This was discussed in the Steering Committee of Integrated Coastal Management Society (ICZMS) held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Sri Suresh Chandra Mahapatra on digital mode from Loksheba Bhawan wherein Additional Chief Secretary Forest Environment and Climate Change Sri Satyabrata Sahu outlined the proposal for discussion.

Considering different contours of the plan, Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra directed to focus on the regeneration of the coastal eco-system and promotion of climate resilient sustainable livelihood in the coastal communities. He directed to the preparation of the annual action plan in consultation with the respective communities.

Mahapatra also directed to prioritize the villages that generally face climate-induced calamities over the years. It was also decided to density mangrove forests and seagrass for enriching the coastal ecosystems and reducing the impact of tidal surges and storms. Mahapatra asked to explore all possible places for the development of eco-tourism with boating and wildlife-watching facilities. It was decided to prepare the livelihood plan as per the needs of the people and potential the concerned areas.

Project Director ICZMS Sri Sushanta Nanda appraised that the interventions would be rolled out from the current year and would be completed by 2026-27. An amount of Rs.261.50 cr would be invested. The main coastal landscapes to be treated under the project would include the areas like Talsari in Balasore district, Bhitarkanika in Kendrapara district, Bahuda and Chilika is Ganjam district, and Devi Mouth, Chilika in Puri district. Around 3,75,321 hectares of the coastal area spreading over 339 Gram Panchayats and five forest divisions would be included in it.

The project would contribute to the ongoing efforts of the State Government in addressing the impacts of the climatic hazards and disasters on the vulnerable coastal communities through the popularization of climate adaptive livelihood activities. The community-based organizations, NGOs, eco-clubs, women’s self-help groups and local village communities would be involved in the planning, execution and carrying forward of the intervention.

Additional Chief Secretary Water Resources Smt Anu Garg, Additional Chief Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management Sri Satyabrata Sahu, Principal Secretary Tourism Sri Surendra Kumar, Principal Secretary Finance Sri Vishal Kumar Dev, Director Environment and PD, IZCMS Sri Susanta Nanda along with senior officers from concerned departments participated in the deliberations.

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