On January 07, 2011 the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) released for the first time, an Island Protection Zone Notification (IPZ), 2011 to cover Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep. On the same day, Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011 was also released to replace CRZ Notification of 1991.
Island Coastal Regulation Zone (ICRZ) and Integrated Islands Management Plans (IIMPs) are being set up for the environmental management of the Islands of Andaman and Nicobar (A and N) and Lakshadweep.
The coastal areas of A and N islands shall be classified as
- ICRZ-I: The areas that are ecologically sensitive and the geomorphological features which play a role in the maintaining the integrity of the coast and the area between Low Tide Line and High Tide Line.
- ICRZ-II: The areas that have been developed up to or close to the shoreline.
- ICRZ-III: Areas that are relatively undisturbed and those do not belong to ICRZ-I, which include coastal zone in the rural areas (developed and undeveloped) and also areas within municipal limits or in other legally designated urban areas, which are not substantially built up.
- the water area from the Low Tide Line to twelve nautical miles on the seaward side;
- shall include the water area of the tidal influenced water body from the mouth of the water body at the sea up to the influence of tide which is measured as five parts per thousand during the driest season of the year.
In addition, IPZ – 2011
- specifies list of petroleum and chemical products permitted for storage except in ICRZ-I(a) and other identified ecologically sensitive areas.
- has guidelines
- for preparation of IIMP and ICRZ.
- for development of beach resorts or hotels in the designated areas of ICRZ-III and ICRZ-II/IIMPs for occupation of tourist or visitors with prior approval of MoEF.
Lakshadweep Islands Administration has been asked to specify within a period of one year from the date of the notification, the areas indicating all the existing and the proposed developments, conservation and preservation schemes, dwelling units including infrastructure projects such as, schools, markets, hospitals, public facilities, and the like for the purpose of integrated sustainable development of the Lakshadweep Islands Protection Zone, prepare the IIMPs.
Here is the extract from press release – FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on Island Protection Zone Notification (IPZ), 2011.
IX. Island Protection Zone Notification
1. Why is a separate Island Protection Zone Notification, 2011 required ?
There are about 500 islands in Andaman & Nicobar and about 30 in Lakshadweep. These two groups of oceanic islands are home to some of the country’s most thriving biodiversity hotspots. The A&N Islands are known for their terrestrial and marine biodiversity including forest area which covers 85% of the Andaman and Nicobar geographical area, while, Lakshadweep is a coral island. The geographical areas of these islands are so small that in most of the cases the 500 metres Coastal Regulation Zone regulations overlap. Hence, a separate Notification is being issued which takes into account the management of the entire island (except for four islands of A&N which include North Andaman, Middle Andaman, South Andaman and Great Nicobar).
2. What are the objectives of the IPZ Notification, 2011 ?
The main objectives of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011 are:
- To ensure livelihood security to the fishing communities, tribals and other local communities living in the coastal areas;
- To conserve and protect coastal stretches and;
- To promote development in a sustainable manner based on scientific principles, taking into account the dangers of natural hazards in the coastal areas and sea level rise due to global warming.
3. What is the Jurisdiction of the IPZ Notification, 2011 ?
For the four islands namely, North Andaman, Middle Andaman, South Andaman and Great Nicobar, the Notification applies to areas within 500 metres from the High Tide Line along the seafront, while for all other islands of A&N and Lakshadweep the entire geographical area, including the water area up to 12 nautical miles falls within purview of the Notification.
4. Has the frequency of natural disasters been taken into account for the management of the islands ?
Yes, the islands of A&N are prone to natural disasters including earthquake, tsunamis, cyclone etc. The Integrated Island Management Plan (IIMPs) would take into account all the natural disasters and other environmental issues. Suitable guidelines for preparing the IIMPs have been laid down in the Notification.
Also read 15 pages of Island Protection Zone (IPZ) Notification, 2011 as pdf document, issued by the Ministry of Environments and Forests.
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