One-week compulsory training course for Indian Forest Service Officers on “Management of Coastal and Marine Biodiversity in India: Challenges and Prospects” On 10-14 February, 2020 at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands


One week refresher training course for Indian Forest Officers on “Management of Coastal and Marine Biodiversity in India: Challenges and Prospect” was inaugurated at Andaman & Nicobar Islands  on 10th  February, 2020 by Mr. Tarun Coomar, PCCF of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Dr V.B. Mathur, Chairperson, National Biodiversity Authority. This one week course was jointly organized from 10-14th  February 2020 by Wildlife Institute of India in association with Department of Environment & Forest, Andaman & Nicobar Islands.  The course was started with 30 IFS officers from 11 state cadres. Inaugural function was attended by various departments including the Zoological Survey of India.

The training was initiated with a comprehensive introduction to the coastal and marine biodiversity conservation in India by Dr. K. Sivakumar, Course Director. He has also elaborated upon the CAMPA funded- Species Recovery Programme. Dr. V. B. Mathur presented the strategies for developing synergies between biodiversity related conventions and legal instruments: challenges and way ahead. Mr N. Vasudevan, APCCF, Maharashtra has shared his experiences an efforts of the Maharashtra in conservation of coastal and marine biodiversity including creation of Marine Biodiversity Foundation. He also shared multiple images taken at the field to describe the threats to the marine biodiversity of the region. The last session of the day was taken by Dr. Sivakumar on Endangered Species Recovery Programmes of India and shared some of the best practices followed in India. The participants interacted with the resource persons on various aspects on marine biodiversity management in India between the sessions on the first day. It is planned to visit the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park (MGMNP), Wandoor, Jhansi Rani Marine National Park and Baratang mangrove forests on coming days.

In India, there are multiple governance frameworks and structures that administer the coastal and marine environment. While these are intended to have positive outcomes, overlapping jurisdictions, contradictory mandates and limited coordination hinders multiple agencies from working effectively in coastal India. Management agencies in India are still having limited understanding about management of multiple use coastal and marine areas. Given this scenario, the challenge lies in reconciling livelihood needs and development vis-a-vis conservation. Therefore, this course was conducted to address the following issues:

  • promoting integration of biodiversity conservation and livelihood enhancement?

  • What are the existing and potential threats for conservation of coastal and marine biodiversity?

  • What are the current policy and governance challenges to coastal and marine biodiversity conservation? What is the role of community in the governance and management of marine protected areas and ecologically sensitive coastal areas?