Goa is the most vulnerable among coastal area, as major portion of its beaches would be submerged within a foreseeable future due to climatic changes, according to a scientific study.
‘Environmental Education and Sustainable Development in the New Millennium’, a book released by Dr Desh Bandhu, president, Indian Environment Society on the occasion of “VIII Global Conference on Environmental Education 2009” says that Goa being a State with shortest coastline, is more prone to sea level rise due to global warming and climatic change.
Around 4.3 per cent of Goa’s a 105-km coastline has already been affected by one meter rise in sea level, an article in the book on ‘Global Warming and Climatic Change’ claims.
The article also reads that till date 7.3 per cent of Goa’s coastal population is affected by beach erosion which is also very high compared to other States.
“By 2050 and 2080 if the sea level would rise by 38 and 59 meters respectively, then Goa would lose maximum percentage of its land and its population,” the article reads.
The article further says that Goa being dependent much more directly on climate can be hit much harder and sudden by large climatic change.
According to data presented in the state legislative assembly during the recent monsoon session, more than 10 per cent of the State’s beaches have already been eroded due to global warming and the consequent rise in sea water levels.
The state tourist authority has expressed concern and said it is working with scientists to shore up beaches so that they are not lost to the Arabian Sea.
Goa based environmental scientists have said the destruction of mangroves and salt pans, plus sand mining and construction for tourism have exacerbated the problems.
The article also says that other then Goa, West Bengal is a State where beach erosion has affected to a large extent.
“Of its total 8.3 million hectares coastal area nearly 1.4 per cent is affected thus harming 2.3 per cent of its population,” article says.
However, Maharashtra with highest coastal area of 30.8 million hectares, only 0.13 per cent of its area is under beach erosion harming 1.7 per cent of its population.
It also states that Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are the least affected states where 0.6 and 0.9 per cent of its coastal area people were affected by rise in sea level.
As per the article on an average 0.4 per cent of India’s coastal area was affected by the rise of one meter sea level which affected 1.7 per cent of its total coastal population.