Several initiatives have been introduced and implemented to manage the Indian coast, overseeing activities and managing disasters. These initiatives addressing coastal area management have led to the formulation of various policies to manage the coastal resources. Through an analysis of the Tamil Nadu State Action plans on Climate Change (TNSAPCC) between 2009-2020, this paper identifies activities and strategies proposed by the state to address Coastal Area Management (CAM) issues, highlights challenges and propose suitable recommendations to strengthen their policy actions. In the TNSAPCC, Coastal Area Management (CAM) has been identified as a separate sector to undertake appropriate strategies to face climate change impacts in the coastal tract of Tamil Nadu.
As a coastal state, Tamil Nadu has witnessed coastal related disasters and subsequently infrastructural and livelihood interruptions. The state is known for its strong research capabilities and effectively organizing state policies, but climate-related subjects have still not made it to the top of the policy agenda. The discussion delves deeper into identifying some of the policy challenges and investigating how the state is contributing to climate policy, specifically its coastal policy theme.
The state climate plans indicate that there have been no significant changes in the strategies and proposed activities in the two plans submitted in the last decade. The revised plan only includes additional sets of tasks that complement the proposed activities. There is no mention of implementation method or monitoring tools to track progress of the activities. Largely the policies address issues surrounding the coastal area including resilience, livelihood and disaster preparedness but there are not enough policies addressing the socio-economic conditions of the communities, coastal erosion prevention or institutional cooperation factors. Finally, based on the analysis a set of policy recommendations are proposed to strengthen Tamil Nadu’s state plan:
- Allocate alternative living sheds/spaces in advance to facilitate pre-and post-disaster scenarios
- Introduce health and education plans for coastal communities
- Develop environmental/coastal clearance permits
- Support and maintain the cooperation between various stakeholders working in the coastal region