Govt not consulting real stakeholder on coastal notification: NGO

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New Delhi, Nov 21 (UNI) The National Coastal Protection Campaign (NCPC) today accused the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest of indulging in mere tokenism in the name of consulting fishworkers on the proposed Coastal Zone Management Notification.

In a statement released here on the occasion of the World Fisheries Day today, the NGO said the notification was going to be discussed for the first time on November 23 in Mumbai, but unfortunately, the most important constituency, the fishworkers, will be largely absent from the consultation.

The new notification, due to its non-recognition of the traditional and customary rights of fishworkers, was totally rejected by the fishing community, it said.

Though the proposed meeting in Mumbai was an attempt by the MoEF to demonstrate willingness to a consultative process, none of the fishworkers organizations have received invitation on time and none of the civil society organizations which are directly involved with the issue were invited, said the fishworkers rights group.

"Looking at the composition of the invitees it appears that this meeting is attempted to look like a national event. But there is no body from Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Gujarat among the invitees.

Number of invitees from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Orissa, West Bengal and Goa are just nominal, said the Campaign.

Moreover, it added, many well known national and regional level NGOs and CBOs did not find any place here and some coastal states were absent, due to which there could be no comprehensive reflection of opinion, it said.

With the new notification, it said, all violations that have taken place since 1991 under the CRZ Notification, mainly by commercial interests, with severe implications for the social and ecological integrity of the coastal zone and traditional livelihoods, are likely to be condoned, it said.

''This will again be a concession to commercial interests that have blatantly violated the provisions of the earlier Notification,'' added the Campaign.

UNI

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