Climate Change Adaptation Guidelines for Coastal Protection and Management in India

As part of the Global Environment Facility-funded Asian Development Bank technical assistance in India: Climate Resilient Coastal Protection and Management Project, FCG ANZDEC has developed “Climate Change Adaptation Guidelines for Coastal Protection and Management in India”. These guidelines have been developed over two years through a highly participatory process: numerous participants from a broad spectrum of stakeholders participated in developing recommendations for coastal protection and management in India. The goal was to learn from the present situation and find the most suitable methods to deal with erosion that are within the regulatory, budgetary, and practical circumstances in India. At the same time, detailed research about the likely climate change impacts was undertaken by leading research institutes from India and abroad. We took a pragmatic approach, based around current trends and the likely worsening of impacts when sea levels rise, storms become stronger, population pressure increases, and sand resources fail.

The guidelines bring numerous novel recommendations and solutions for India, one of them being an “environmental softness ladder”, a well-structured method for decision making, based on an audit of existing coastal protection works in India as well as other countries. Another novel addition is the integration of a “minimum floor level” into land planning for safe building. Namely, existing coastal zone regulations in India were created prior to the current understanding of sea level rise and are, as such, based on horizontal zones, such as minimum distance from the high tide line for construction. By introducing a “minimum floor level”, a vertical elevation required for safe construction has been added and hence better flood protection enabled. While focused on India, the guidelines have relevance to shorelines worldwide.

For more information, you can download the guidelines below: Climate Change Adaptation Guidelines for Coastal Protection and Management in India