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Migratory birds in Bhitarkanika National Park (Photo | EPS)

India - Critically Vulnerable Coastal Area tag for Odisha's Bhitarkanika park

Bhitarkanika National Park has been declared Odisha’s first Critically Vulnerable Coastal Area (CVCA) by the Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry.

KENDRAPARA:  Bhitarkanika National Park has been declared Odisha’s first Critically Vulnerable Coastal Area (CVCA) by the Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry.

Fishermen, forest dwellers and environmentalists welcomed the Ministry’s decision at a public hearing on Coastal Zone Management Plan draft, organised by the district administration and Forest department on Saturday.

The Ministry, in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, had accorded the tag to Bhitarkanika in order to protect its critical coastal environment and address problems faced by local communities.

Apart from Bhitarkanika, the country’s largest mangrove forest at Sundarban in West Bengal,  Gulf of Khambat and Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, Malvan, Achra- Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Karwar and Coondapur in Karnataka, Vembanad in Kerala, Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu, Coringa, East Godavari and  Krishna in Andhra Pradesh were declared CVCAs, said DFO of Bhitarkanika National Park Bikash Ranjan Dash.

The Union Government had declared certain stretches in the country as Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) in 1991 under Section - 3 of Environment (Protection) Act,  1986.

Later, several State Governments and Union Territory administrations had urged it to address concerns related to the coastal environment and sustainable development with respect to the CRZ notification, 2011. This had prompted the Ministry of  Environment, Forest and Climate Change to seek comments and suggestions from authorities concerned on April 18, 2018.  

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