In a step toward enhancing the climate resilience of coastal communities, the Odisha government has decided to implement a community-based action plan with an aim of making coastal communities more climate resilient.

The decision has been taken by the Steering Committee of the Integrated Coastal Management Society (ICZMS).

Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra directed to focus on regeneration of coastal eco-system and promotion of climate resilient sustainable livelihood in the coastal communities. He directed the preparation of the annual action plan in consultation with the respective communities.

Chief Secretary also directed to prioritize the villages that generally face climate-induced calamities over the years. It was also decided to density mangrove forests and seagrass for enriching the coastal ecosystems and reducing the impact of tidal surges and storms.

Chief Secretary asked to explore all possible places for the development of eco-tourism with boating and wildlife watching facilities. It was decided to prepare the livelihood plan as per the needs of the people and potential the concerned areas.

Project Director, Integrated Coastal Management Society ( ICZMS) Sushanta Nanda appraised that the interventions would be rolled out from the current year and would be completed by 2026-27.

“An amount of Rs 261.50 crore would be invested. The main coastal landscapes to be treated under the project would include the areas like Talsari in Balasore district, Bhitarkanika in Kendrapara district, Bahuda and Chilika in Ganjam district, and Devi Mouth, Chilika in Puri district. Around 3,75,321 hectares of the coastal area spreading over 339 Gram Panchayats and five forest divisions would be included in it,” the project director said

“The project would contribute towards the ongoing efforts of the State Government in addressing the impacts of the climatic hazards and disasters on the vulnerable coastal communities through the popularization of the climate adaptive livelihood activities. The community-based organizations, NGOs, eco-clubs, women self-help groups and local village communities would be involved in the planning, execution and carrying forward of the intervention,” the project director added. (ANI)