Review Paper: Status of Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Management in South Asia
The coastal sub-region of South Asia including Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka harbours some of the world’s most significant coastal and marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass meadows, river deltas and estuaries. They play a crucial role in reducing the effects of natural disasters. The paper reviews the status of coastal and marine ecosystem management in the region to enable adoption of an integrated approach to ecosystem management for effective risk reduction.
Five countries in South Asia - Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have extensive mangroves, coral reefs, and sand dunes that harbor some of the world’s most significant coastal and marine biodiversity.
The coastal sub-region of South Asia is home to about 400 million people, many are poor and vulnerable. The sub-region also faces increasing occurrence of natural hazards such as cyclones, floods and tidal surges; rapid changes in land-use; and climate variability. Integrated management of coastal and marine environment is crucial to ensure the long-term sustainability of this sub-region.
Against this backdrop, we are delightful to introduce two publications that promote ecosystem approach for effective disaster and climate risk management by strengthening the inter-linkages between Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation and coastal ecosystems management. These are ‘A Toolkit for Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation into Ecosystem Management of Coastal and Marine Areas in South Asia’; and ‘Review Paper-Status of Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Management in South Asia’.
The Toolkit offers a step-by-step guide for integrating Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation into the coastal and marine ecosystem management that will be quite useful for the field practitioners of coastal areas in the sub-region. The toolkit is accompanied with the publication on current status, providing the context of coastal and marine ecosystem management in South Asia. Both these publications build on UNDP’s new Biodiversity and Ecosystems Global Framework, titled The Future We Want: Biodiversity and Ecosystems – Driving Sustainable Development that calls for a shift in focus towards the positive opportunities provided by biodiversity and natural ecosystems, in terms of harnessing their potential for sustainable development.
These publications are outcomes of a South Asian Regional Consultation of Experts held in New Delhi in March 2012 organized jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India, and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Asia and the Pacific Secretariat.
It is our intention that these publications serve as valuable source material for taking an integrated approach to ecosystem management for effective risk reduction. Equally we hope that they will inform the ongoing consultations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Disaster Risk Reduction frameworks.
We believe this is an important step towards building resilience of nations and communities in the South Asian sub-continent to shocks and natural disasters.
Read the Publication