The Coastal Resource Centre, set up under the Community Environmental Monitoring (CEM) project of The Other Media, intends to provide sustained support to coastal communities in challenging destructive developmental activities. It aims to combat unsustainable development by using democratic spaces for dissent and proactive engagement, and at the same time increase resilience among such communities to the vagaries of a climate uncertain future.

Elliots Beach in Chennai, constantly threatened to coastal violations

At the heart of the Coastal Resource Centre is its Community Outreach and Education. The Right to Information is used as an important tool to obtain information from government agencies and assess what impacts private and governmental projects have on traditional fishing communities. All information obtained is actively taken out to the community in question. First interactions include explaining the problem, prepare the community for the impacts expected and develop strategies to combat the problem.

Helping communities document their traditional rights by way of community mapping is another area of predominance in CRC’s work. This process involves mapping the way communities use their land for housing, livelihood and recreation along with the community infrastructure. This provides a way for communities to create a document that certifies their traditional rights over the land they have used for generations.

To strengthen the cooperation between communities, the CRC works as a mediator, bringing together local communities to build a larger support network. In terms of Policy, it tries and push the government to implement certain existing laws and regulations which work in favour of the fishing community and influence the governments policy to directly address stakeholders.

People often perceive fishing villages are encroachments sitting on prime real estate. Our intent is to challenge that very perception by highlighting the long-established connection that these communities have with the sea and the seashore.

For more detailed information and reports, visit the campaigns blog.