CZMAs and Coastal Environments: Two Decades of Regulating Land Use Change on India’s Coastline
Coastal Zone Management Authorities (CZMAs) are one of the oldest environmental regulatory bodies in India. On the basis of an order of the Supreme Court in April 1996 (WP 664/1993) and under MoEF orders issued in 1998, these bodies were constituted in every coastal state and Union Territory and at the national level to take crucial decisions regarding the use of coastal lands and the management of coastal environments. They implement the 2011 Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification that was first promulgated in 1991 and amended over 25 times. Though much has been written about the Notification, the performance of CZMAs and the institutional challenges to implementation have never been studied.
Detailed studies on the workings of institutions set up for environment regulation are essential if we are to address specific environmental challenges and reshape regulatory procedures and bodies to be effective in doing this. This report is the first systematic effort to study the structure and functioning of CZMAs and analyse their performance on the tasks of project appraisal, coastal zone mapping, actions against violations and conservation. The report has mainly relied on primary data that includes minutes of over 350 CZMA meetings between January 1999 and March 2014 and 39 interviews with sitting and ex-members of the CZMAs and staff, consultants and officers of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in charge of implementation of the CRZ Notification.
The report consists of five chapters and a set of five report cards that visually depict the comparative performance of the State CZMAs.