Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve's Coastal Biodiversity

What is the Project About

What is the project aboutPhoto: Tom Pietrasik/UNDP India

The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, home to one of the world’s richest concentrations of marine species is under threat as a result of habitat destruction, over-harvesting of marine resources and civic pollution. In response to the threat, this project, in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, funded by Global Environment Facility, demonstrates the possibilities of sustainable community-led conservation of coastal areas, and integration of conservation activities in coastal zone management plans.

What Have We Accomplished So Far

What Have We Accomplished So Far
  • The Tamil Nadu government has ensured the sustainability of the Trust and conservation activities even with project completion through allocating funds from the state budget 

  • Coral reef cover increased by five percent between 2005 and 2009. Coral mining has completely stopped and a seasonal ban on seaweed collection has been put in place. Since 2010, no new registrations for bottom trawlers have been issued in the Gulf of Mannar

  • 77,000 fisher folk have benefited from awareness generation activities undertaken by the Village Marine Conservation and Eco-development Councils established in all of the 248 villages that are along the coastline. In addition, close to 2,000 youth from fishing communities have undergone short vocational trainings on 22 courses to secure employment outside of the fishing industry

  • 35,000 people have been mobilized through 2,341 self-help groups, an overwhelming majority of members are women. These groups have been able to access micro-credit through a corpus fund of US$ 1.4 million. This has now increased to US$ 1.8 million

  • Increased use of eco-friendly fishing practices through awareness generating activities and training

Funding Support by

Donor Name Amount Contributed
Global Environment Facility (GEF) US$ 7,650,000

Expenditure in Previous Fiscal Years

Year Amount
2012 US$ 620,100
2011 US$ 1,186,37
2010 US$ 1,204,047
2009 US$ 496,777
2008 US$ 880,975
2003-2007 US$ 3,182,200 

Stories of Change

Easing Troubled Waters: Conserving the Gulf of Mannar’s Biodiversity

Easing Troubled Waters: Conserving the Gulf of Mannar’s Biodiversity
UNDP has partnered with the Government of Tamil Nadu to demonstrate the possibilities of conserving the environment and encouraging sustainable development processes in the Gulf of Mannar.


The Biodiversity Challenge - Supporting India’s Ecosystems

The Biodiversity Challenge - Supporting India’s Ecosystems
Recognising India’s rich biodiversity, the United Nations Development Programme is supporting several initiatives to conserve the country’s rich and diverse ecosystems and demonstrate strategies to reduce poverty.

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