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Operationalising Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Adapting to Sea Level Rise through Coastal Law: Where Does India Stand?

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With an overwhelming majority of India’s population living on the coast and depending on coastal resources for their sustenance and livelihood, sustainable coastal development is of critical importance to this country. India is also susceptible to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise. This article reviews India’s attempts to manage its long coastline and coastal resources through the instrumentality of law. The salient features of its first coastal law of 1991 and the subsequent draft law of 2008, culminating with a new law adopted in 2011, are analyzed in detail. Specifically, this article examines how these laws provide for integrated coastal zone management, the primary methodology to attain sustainable coastal development, and how they further adaptation to sea level rise. The article argues that, as it stands, India’s coastal law is ineffective to further these two objectives.

Affiliations: 1: Marine and Environmental Law Institute, Schulich Law School, Dalhousie University Halifax, NS Canada


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