Sri Lanka's Agenda for Coastal Zone Management

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1 EEZ Technology The Review of Advanced Technologies for the Integrated of EEZs and Coastal Zones Worldwide ICG Publishing Limited Edition 5 Sri Lanka's Agenda for Coastal Zone R.A.D.B. Samaranayake, Coast Conservation Department, Maligawatte Secretariat, Sri Lanka ABSTRACT Population growth in Sri Lanka has increased the use of coastal zone resources. Unregulated development led to state intervention culminating in a Coast Conservation Act, 1981, and the creation of a government department in A coastal Zone plan in 1990 has led to implementation of key reforms, and the 1997 revision of the plan sets the strategy for coastal zone management in to the next millenium. INTRODUCTION Population growth has increased pressure on the resources of Sri Lanka's coastal zone, creating new stresses in the coastal environment. The absence of development of planning and an appraisal mechanism at national level have led to degradation of the coastal environment. Industrial development since the late 1950s, beach based tourism development since the late 1960s and the open economic policies of the late 1970s have all placed strains on the coastal environment. By the early 1970s problems associated with coastal developments had begun to arise. The need for a more management oriented approach was first recommended in 1971 by the coast protection unit of the coast protection unit of the Colombo Port Commission. In 1978 the subject the subject of coast conservation was transferred to the Ministry of Fisheries, by the creation of a Coast Conservation Division. This was directed towards maintenance of coastal stability by planned engineering works combined with a sound planning and management approach. This division was upgraded to the status of a Government Department in 1984.

2 COAST CONSERVATION ACT The Coast Conservation Act No. 57 of 1981 shifted the emphasis from coast protection to coastal zone management (CZM). The Act decreed the appointment of a Director of Coast Conservation with the following responsibilities: 1. Administration and implementation of the provisions of the Act. 2. Formulation and execution of schemes of work for coast conservation within the coastal zone. 3. Conduct of research, in collaboration with other departments, agencies and institutions for the purpose of coast conservation. Sri Lanka's coastal zone is defined in the Coast Conservation Act as the area lying within a limit of 300 meters landward of the mean high water line and in the case of rivers, streams, lagoons or any other body of water connected to the sea, either permanently or periodically, the landward boundary shall extend to a limit of 2 kilometers perpendicular to the strait baseline drawn between the natural entrance points thereof and shall include waters of such water bodies. COAST CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN (CZMP) As required by the Coast Conservation Act, the first National Coastal Zone Plan (CZMP) was prepared and approved by the cabinet of Ministers in The 1990 plan deals with the coast coastal problems of erosion, loss and degradation of coastal habitats, as well as loss and degradation of archeological, historical and cultural sites, and recreational and scenic areas. It describes the nature, scope severity and causes associated with each of these problems. Objectives and policies for the management of each problem were identified along with specific management techniques. In particular, the rationale and procedures for continuing the coastal permit system are detailed. Implementing actions in this plan are4 regulation, direct development, research, coordination, education and planning and policy development. Implementation of the 1990 Coastal Zone Plan led to key improvements: 1. Permits are required for development activities such as residential and commercial constructions, recreational structures, road, sewage treatment plants, dredging, sand mining etc. within the designated coastal zone. More than 3,000 coastal permit applications have been reviewed and permit compliance averages more than 87%. 2. The Coast Conservation Department (CCD) may call an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for development activities witch might have significant negative impacts on the coastal environment. EIA requirements have been imposed in 10 development activities.

3 3. Coral is one source of lime for construction industry. The enforcement of regulations of the Coast Conservation Act (Amendment) has led to a 50% reduction in the number of sea corals removed on the south - west coast of Sri Lanka. Also, under this provisions, all the lime kilns have been removed from the designated coastal zone. 4. Beach parks have been and are to be established to enhance the quality of the coastal environment and to demonstrate the recreational and aesthetic value of the coastal areas. Mathara beach park was established with the co-operation of the Urban Development Authority, Forestry Department and other local authorities. Further sites in wellawatta, Tangalle, Beruwala and Crow Island have been identified for development 5. Long term solution for coastal erosion have been planned using coastal stabilization schemes formulated on the basis of coastal engineering information. As a long -term solution for coastal erosion, coast Conservation Department developed a Master Plan for Coast Erosion (MPCEM) in 1986 with the assistance of DANIDA. Over 3000 meters of coastal protection works have been constructed in compliance with the MPCEM 6. The Coastal Zone Plan (CZMP) recognized the need to devolve resources management responsibilities to Local Government Authorities and non- governmental organizations (NGOs). As first step, the Coast Conservation Department (CCD) delegated several functions to the Divisional Secretaries on the terms of Public Administration Circular No. 21/92 in 1992, under Section 5 of the Coast Conservation Act. The delegation of Authority has been designed to improve the Coastal Programme by allowing each local authority to issue minor permits for removal of 2 cubes of sand from specified areas of the coastal zone designated by the Coast Conservation Department, and to issue minor permits for all small houses and commercial establishments with a floor area not exceeding 1,000 sq.ft. outside set- back areas defined in the Coastal Zone Plan. 7. Coastal 2000 : recommendations for resources management strategy for Sri Lanka's coastal region highlighted the need for a more intergraded approach to coastal zone management, including local level involvement and collaboration, and focusing management efforts in "Special Areas" which have recognized set of issues within defined and manageable boundaries. Two Special Area (SAM) sites were chosen in the South Coast, Rekawa and Hikkaduwa, and ecological profiles and SAM plans were prepared with the involvement of communities in these areas. The overall planning process and plan

4 implementation of both sites are co-ordinated by the Special Area Co-ordinating Committees headed by the Divisional Secretaries of the area. Further planning process of the SAM site in Unawatuna has already commenced. REVISED COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PLAN Sri Lanka's Coast Conservation Act requires the revision of the CZMP every 4 years. The Coast Conservation Department, with the assistance of the Coastal Resources Project, initiated the revision of the Coastal Zone Plan with the experience gained in the implementation of the first national Coastal Zone Plan as an important factor. The Coast Conservation Department and the Coastal Zone Project reviewed the main objectives, policies and activities of the 1990 Coastal Zone Plan. The process included with several national level meetings and workshops. When the draft plan was completed, it was submitted to the Coast Conservation Advisory Council and the public for a 60 day review period. The Coastal Zone Plan,1997 was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in September1997 and was effective from 1st November The objectives of the revised plan are to: 1. Identify coastal problems that will be the primary focus of the Coast Conservation Department during the next four years. 2. Indicate why these problems are important. 3. Present the Coast Conservation Department's management a 4. Identify what should be done by other Government and non governmental organizations to reduce the scope and magnitude of coastal problems. 5. Identify research activities to immediate importance to the management of coastal resources. The revised Coastal Zone Plan, like its predecessor of 1990, outlines the interventions to reduce coastal erosion, to minimize degradation of coastal habitats, and to minimize loss and degradation of archeological, cultural and scenic sites. A new focus is the reduction of coastal pollution. A second new focus is Special Area, including the recognition of the need for locally based collaborative management. Finally, the plan summarizes the objectives, policies, and actions to be implemented by the Coast Conservation Department and sets forth the priorities for action. COASTAL MANAGEMENT STRATEGY IN BRIEF The primary policies and techniques likely to be emphasized by the Coast Conservation Department over the next 4 years are shown in Table1. These are the policies for which management activities can be employed without significant additions in resources or

5 supporting activities form other agencies. These policies and techniques constitute the core coastal management strategy of the Coast Conservation Department TABLE 1. POLICIES AND MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES FOR THE CORE COASTAL MANAGEMENT STRATEGY OF THE COAST CONSERVATION DEPARTMENT POLICY Erosion Control MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES A. Regulate development suitability at specific sites. Education, Permits B. Ensure proper location in relation to the shoreline. Set- back, Education C. Regulate amount, location and timing of sand mining. Permits, Devolution D. Build coast protection structures at appropriate locations. Master Plan for Coastal Erosion E Regulate private construction of groins, revetments. Permits F. Limit construction in erosion prone area. Nobuild zones Habitat Protection A. Regulate location/use of development activities relative to Education, Permits, Special Area valued habitats. B. Regulate discharge of development which may affect habitats. Permits, Education, Special Area C. Reduce resource use conflict Special Area

6 Coastal Pollution A. Regulate effluent discharge of new development activities Permits Archaeological, Historical, Cultural and Scenic Sites A. Regulation of development activities in relation to valued sites. Permits Note: Although more than one management techniques is normally used to implement a given policy, only primary techniques are listed. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr.R.A.D.B. Samaranayake is the Director of the Coast Conservation Department, Colombo,Sri Lanka. He has a BSc( Sri Lanka), MSc (Philippines), Diploma in Aquaculture (SEAFDEC Philippines), and a Postgraduate Certificate on Coastal (Rhode Island University, USA) and PhD (USA)

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