Forum asks govt to declare east coast as common heritage

Written by: Pti
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Berhampur (Orissa), Feb 28 (PTI) East Coast FisherPeople�s Forum (ECFPF), an organisation of traditionalfishermen of five states including Orissa, has urged theCenter to declare entire east coast as common heritage of theIndian sub-continent to preserve flora, fauna and ecology.��A resolution adopted at a workshop on �the right offisher people and rights of the child� organised by the forumat Gopalpur in Ganjam district demanded that the areas undercoastal reserve zone be treated as "common property resource�for the coastal communities and recognize their customaryrights regarding dwellings, land use and livelihood.

Several problems faced by the fishermen in the eastcoast comprising Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh,Tamilnadu and Puducherry were discussed in the two-dayworkshop which ended yesterday.

A memorandum containing 33 demands was prepared,Jacob Thundyil, president of Prem, a voluntary orgnisation andone of the functionaries of ECFPF, said.

Fishing communities inhabiting the east coast havebeen victims of natural calamaties as well as violation ofhuman and fundamental rights and their livelihood and autonomywas at stake, one of the functionaries said.

Violation of child right in these communities wasrampant, which needs to addressed immediately, he said.

Rights of children and the fishermen could beprotected in these states, if the government fulfilled theirdemands, he said. �The workshop also discussed pro and cons of theproposed �Fisherfolk Rights Bill� like the �Forest Rights Act�as proposed by the ministry of environment and forest.

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