JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use the Site in standard view. However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options.

| Last Updated:: 19/04/2023




 Q: Why is EIACP stands for?

A: EIACP stands for Environmental Information, Awareness, Capacity Building and Livelihood Programme (EIACP), which is a decentralized system with a network of distributed subject oriented Programme Centre (PC) Hubs/PC RPs ensuring integration of national efforts in environmental information collection, collation, storage, retrieval and dissemination to all concerned.


Q. How many EIACP PC/RPs are existing?

A: There are 60 Programme Centres of which 26 EIACP PC Hubs and 34 EIACP PC RPs are existing. 




Q: Why is there a need for a Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011?

A: The Ministry of Environment and Forests had issued the Coastal Regulation Zone CRZ) Notification on 19.2.1991 under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, with the aim to provide comprehensive measures for the protection and on servation of our coastal environment. However, over the last two decades the following issues emerged while implementing the 1991 Notification:


  •  The 1991 Notification stipulated uniform regulations for the entire Indian coastline which includes 5500 Km coastline of the mainland and 2000 Km of coastline of the islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep. It, therefore, failed to take into account that the Indian coastline is highly diverse in terms of biodiversity, hydrodynamic conditions, demographic patterns, natural resources, geomorphological and geological features.
  •  In the 1991 Notification, no clear procedure for obtaining CRZ clearance was laid down and no time lines stipulated. Furthermore, there was no format given for the submission of clearance applications.
  • It may be noted that the 1991 Notification, also did not provide a post clearance monitoring mechanism or a clear cut enforcement mechanism to check violations.
  •  The 1991 Notification sought to regulate all developmental activities in the inter-tidal area and within 500 metres on the landward side. No concrete steps were indicated in the 1991 Notification with regard to the pollution emanating from land based activities.
  •  The restrictive nature of the 1991 Notification caused hardships to the persons/ communities living in certain ecologically sensitive coastal stretches. These included slum dwellers and other persons living in dilapidated and unsafe buildings in Mumbai, communities living in islands in the backwaters of Kerala, local communities living along the coast of Goa and other traditional coastal inhabitants.

·        The 1991 Notification has been amended almost 25 times in consideration of requests made by various State Governments, Central Ministries, NGOs etc. In addition, there are also several office orders issued by Ministry of Environment and Forests clarifying certain provisions. The frequent changes to the 1991 Notification have been consolidated in the 2011 Notification.

           The 2011 Notification takes into account and address all the above issues in a comprehensive manner, relying on the recommendations made in the “Final Frontier” Report by the Committee chaired by Dr. M.S. Swaminathan on Coastal Regulation and the findings of the various consultations held in various coastal States and Union territories. The Minister of State (I/C) personally presided over the consultations in Goa, Chennai, Puri, Kochi and Mumbai.


Q: What are the objectives of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011?

A: The main objectives of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011 are:

  •  To ensure livelihood security to the fishing communities and other local communities living in the
  •  To conserve and protect coastal stretches and;
  •  To promote development in a sustainable manner based on scientific principles, taking into account the dangers of natural hazards in the coastal areas and sea level rise due to global warming.

Q: What are the new provisions contained in the 2011 Notification to benefit the fisher-folk community?

A: Since the fishing communities traditionally live in the coastal areas, they have been given primary importance when drafting the CRZ Notification 2011.

One of the stated objectives of the Notification is “to ensure livelihood security to the fisher communities and other local communities, living in the coastal areas and to promote development through sustainable manner based on scientific principles taking into account the dangers of natural hazards in the coastal areas, sea level rise due to global warming.”

The following are the provisions in the 2011 Notification that address the issues relating to fishermen community:-

Water area up to 12 nautical miles and the tidal influenced water bodies have been included under the Coastal Regulation Zone areas in order to:

  •  Control the discharge of untreated sewage, effluents and the disposal of solid wastes as such activities endanger the fish and their ecosystem;
  •  Conserve and protect habitats in the marine area such as corals and coral reefs and associated biodiversity, marine sanctuaries and biosphere reserves, sea grass beds etc. which act as spawning, nursery and rearing grounds for fish and fisheries;
  •  Regulate activities in the marine and coastal waters such as dredging, sand mining, discharge of waste from ships, construction like groynes, breakwaters, etc. including reclamation which have serious impacts on fishing and allied activities;

·        Enable studies of the coastal and marine waters with regard to the impact of climate change and the occurrence of disasters which have serious impacts on the livelihood and property of the fisher-folk communities;

It may be noted that no restrictions are being imposed on any fishing activities and allied activities of the traditional fishing communities in this area.

  •  At several coastal stretches of the country the fi shermen and their dwelling units are in danger due to erosion which is occurring primarily due to manmade activities. The development of such manmade foreshore activities shall be regulated after identifying and demarcating the coast as falling in the high eroding category, the medium eroding category or the stable sites category.
  •  While preparing the Coastal Zone Management Plans the infrastructures essential for fishing communities must be clearly demarcated and fishing Zones in the water bodies and the fish breeding areas shall also be clearly marked.
  • The 2011 Notification requires the Coastal Zone Management Authorities to invite comments on the draft Coastal Zone Management Plan from stakeholders. This will ensure that for the fi rst time, local communities including fishermen communities will have a say in the preparation of the CZMPs.
  •  The Notification allows infrastructural facilities for the local fishing communities to be constructed in the CRZ-III area.
  •  Reconstruction, repair works of dwelling units of local communities including fisheries in accordance with local Town and Country Planning Regulations has been made permissible.
  •  In CRZ-III areas where 0-200 metres is a No Development Zone (NDZ), to meet The demands of dwelling units of traditional coastal communities including 8 fisher-folk, the NDZ has been reduced to 100 metres. Hence, dwelling units of such communities can be constructed 100-200 metres from High Tide Line along the seafront with the approval of the State Government and the MoEF.

Q: Which are the Ramsar Sites in Kerala?

A: The important Ramsar cites in Kerala are:


Q: How have the coastal zones been classified under the 2011 Notification?


A: In the 1991 Notification the CRZ area was classified as CRZ-I (ecological sensitive), CRZ-II (built-up area), CRZ-III (Rural area) and CRZ-IV (water area). In the 2011 Notification the above classification is retained. The only change is the inclusion pf CRZ-IV, which includes the water areas up to the territorial waters and the tidal-influenced water bodies. For the very first time, a separate draft Island Protection Zone Notification has been issued for protection of the islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.



Q: What are the coastal areas that qualify as falling within the CRZ-I category?

A: The CRZ Notification, 2011 clearly lists out the areas that fall within the category of CRZ-I. It includes:-

(i) Ecologically sensitive areas and the geomorphological features that play a primary role in maintaining the integrity of the coast.

  •    50  Mangroves, in case mangrove area is more than 1000 square metres, a buffer area of  meters shall be provided;
  •  Corals and coral reefs and associated biodiversity;
  •  Sand Dunes;
  •  Mudflats which are biologically active;
  •  National parks, marine parks, sanctuaries, reserve forests, wildlife habitats and other protected areas under the provisions of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 (53 of 1972), the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 (69 of 1980) or Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986); including Biosphere Reserves encompassing;
  • Salt Marshes;
  • Turtle nesting grounds;
  • Horse shoe crabs habitats;
  •  Sea grass beds;
  • Nesting grounds of birds;
  • Areas or structures of archaeological importance and heritage site

 (ii) The area between Low Tide Line and High Tide Line.


Q: Which are the biosphere reserves in Kerala?

A: The Indian government has established 17 Biosphere Reserves of India, which protect larger areas of natural and often include one or more National Parks and/or preserves, along buffer zones that are open to some economic uses. Protection is granted not only to the flora and fauna of the protected region, but also to the human communities who inhabit these regions, and their ways of life. Of these two were located in Kerala.They are

  •  Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
  •  Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve



Q: What is biodiversity?


A: Biodiversity is a short term for biological diversity. The term includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. Although it is very common to use biodiversity as short hand for species, it actually means everything from genetic material to entire ecosystem and the relationships among those different species of the whole. Biodiversity is the foundation of all life on earth and without it we cannot survive. It underpins functioning ecosystems, which provide food, water, medicines and a host of cultural and spiritual values that allow people to thrive. Biodiversity can be described as the fabric of life. When one thread is lost, the entire fabric starts to disintegrate.


Q: What is the state of the world’s biodiversity?


A: The world’s biodiversity is in deep crisis. We are currently living the greatest extinction crisis since dinosaurs roamed on Earth. . It is estimated that one species is drive to extinction every 20 minutes. This is 100‐1,000 times faster than the historical average. Recent reports show that world governments failed to meet the targets to reduce the loss of biodiversity by 2010. These reports show that the indicators of the state of biodiversity, like species extinctions, are in decline, whereas the pressures on the environment, like deforestation and overfishing, are increasing.


Q: What are the main threats to biodiversity?


A: The primary threat to biodiversity around the world is currently habitat loss. Agricultural expansion, energy production and urban development destroy forests on land, while unsafe fishing practices and coastal development destroy critical marine ecosystems like mangroves.


Q: What is an ecosystem?


A: An ecosystem is all the life in a given area, plus all the non‐living, physical constituents (air, water, soil, and so forth) that interact with the life. Put another way, an ecosystem is an ecological unit made up of life and the stuff that surrounds it. A coral reef, for example, is an ecosystem. So is a tropical forest, a vast swath of tundra, a desert, and the deep sea.



Q: What is the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)?


A: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international legally‐binding treaty with three main goals: conservation of biodiversity; sustainable use of biodiversity; fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. Its overall objective is to encourage actions which will lead to a sustainable future.



Q: What are Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs)?


A: Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are globally important sites for biodiversity conservation which contain threatened and/or geographically restricted species. These sites are identified at the national level using globally standardized criteria based on their importance in maintaining species populations. KBAs are the foundation of conservation planning; stakeholders can use them as a tool for identifying national and international networks of critical conservation sites.


Q: What is the species diversity in Kerala coast?


A: The marine biodiversity of Kerala coast is represented by over 5,000 species, including 17 species of marine mammals, 66 species of coastal and marine birds, 9 species of reptiles (turtles and sea snakes), 740 species of fish, 9 species of tunicates 64 species of echinoderms, 1,000 species of arthropods (copepods, amphipods, isopods, prawns, crabs, lobsters, etc), 250 species of molluscs, 20 species of annelids, 90 species of bryozoans, 26 species of cnidarians, 30 species of sponges, 50 species of protistans, 92 species of sea weeds, and several species of organisms in other categories. The investigations on many minor phyla occurring along the Kerala coast are far from complete.


Q: When is United Nations Decade on Biodiversity?


A: The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011-2020 the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (Resolution 65/161). The UN Decade on Biodiversity serves to support and promote implementation of the objectives of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, with the goal of significantly reducing biodiversity loss. More details at



Q: What is a tsunami?

A: The name Tsunami, from the Japanese words tsu meaning harbour and nami meaning wave, is now used internationally to describe a series of waves travelling across the ocean. These waves have extremely long wavelengths, up to hundreds of kilometres between wave crests in the deep ocean. In the past, tsunamis have been referred to as 'tidal waves' or 'seismic sea waves'. The term 'tidal wave' is misleading. Even though a tsunami's impact upon a coastline is dependent on the tidal level at the time a tsunami strikes, tsunamis are unrelated to the tides. Tides result from the gravitational influences of the moon, sun and planets. The term 'seismic sea wave' is also misleading. Seismic implies an earthquake-related generation mechanism. Earthquakes are only one of several ways that a tsunami can be generated. Tsunamis can also be caused by events such as underwater landslides, volcanic eruptions, land slumping into the ocean, meteorite impacts, or even the weather when the atmospheric pressure changes very rapidly. 


Q: How are tsunamis generated?


A: The most common cause of tsunamis is an undersea earthquake that results in a sudden rise or fall of a section of the earth's crust under or near the ocean. This earthquake creates an explosive vertical motion that can displace the overlying water column, creating a rise or fall in the level of the ocean above. This rise or fall in sea level is the initial impulse that generates a tsunami wave.


Q: What type of earthquake generates a tsunami? 


A: Tsunamis are typically generated by earthquakes that occur along subduction zones. A subduction zone is an area on the earth where two tectonic plates meet and move towards one another, with one sliding underneath the other and moving down into the earth at rates typically measured in centimetres per year. 


Q: Where and how frequently are tsunamis generated?


A: Most tsunamis occur in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The boundary of the Pacific Ocean, known as the Ring of Fire, experiences frequent earthquakes. There are two major subduction zones in the Indian Ocean that can also generate tsunamis. The frequency of tsunamis is variable across the globe and over time. In the two years after the event of 26 December 2004 the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) issued 52 tsunami alerts for six tsunamia, two of which resulted in significant loss of life. The major Japan (Tohoku) tsunami event of 11 March 2011 killed over 20,000 people.


Q: How are tsunamis detected?

A: Typically, earthquakes that may generate a tsunami are detected through a network of seismic monitoring stations. Any resulting tsunamis are then verified by sea-level monitoring stations and deep ocean tsunami detection buoys. The seismic monitoring stations can determine the location and depth of earthquakes that have the potential to cause tsunamis. The sea-level gauges and deep ocean tsunami detection buoys then measure any abnormal changes in sea level to verify if a tsunami has been generated.


Q: What are the warning signs of a tsunami?


A: A shaking of the ground in coastal regions may reflect the occurrence of a large undersea earthquake nearby that may generate a tsunami. As a tsunami approaches shorelines, the sea may, but not always, withdraw from the beach (like a very low and fast tide) before returning as a fast-moving tsunami. A roaring sound may precede the arrival of a tsunami.


Q: What is Tropical Cyclone?


A: A tropical cyclone is defined as a non-frontal low pressure system of synoptic scale developing over warm waters having organised convection and a maximum mean wind speed of 34 knots or greater extending more than half-way around near the centre and persisting for at least six hours. Every cyclone is unique varying according to a number of factors including life cycle, intensity, movement, size and impact (wind, storm surge and flooding). Satellite image of cyclone Kalunde showing a well developed eye surrounded by the eye wall and spiral bands of convection.


Q: How is a severe tropical cyclone different from a non severe cyclone?


A: Tropical cyclones are classified as severe when they are producing 'very destructive winds' having sustained surface winds of at least 118 km/h near the centre and gusts of at least 165 km/h. This corresponds to cyclone categories 3, 4 and 5.



Sustained winds(km/h)

Strongest gust (km/h)

Typical effects

1 Tropical Cyclone

63 - 88

Below 125

Damaging winds

2 Tropical Cyclone

89 - 117

125 - 164

Destructive winds

3 Severe Tropical Cyclone

118 - 159

165 - 224 

Very destructive winds

4 Severe Tropical Cyclone

160 - 199

225 - 279


5 Severe Tropical Cyclone

Over 200

Over 280 



Q: How is tropical cyclone different from Tornadoes?


A: While both tropical cyclones and tornadoes are atmospheric vortices, they have little in common. Tornadoes have diameters on the scale of hundreds of metres and are usually produced from a single thunderstorm. A tropical cyclone, however, has a diameter on the scale of hundreds of kilometres and contains many thunderstorms. Tornadoes are primarily over-land phenomena as solar heating of the land surface usually contributes toward the development of the thunderstorm that spawns the vortex (though over-water tornadoes have occurred). In contrast, tropical cyclones are purely oceanic phenomena - they die out over-land due to a loss of a moisture source. Lastly, tropical cyclones have a lifetime that is measured in days, while tornadoes typically last on the scale of minutes. Interestingly, tropical cyclones near landfall often provide the conditions necessary for tornado formation. As the strong onshore surface winds move over land they weaken, but above the surface (> 1 km) winds are not affected. This creates strong wind shear that is conducive to tornado formation, especially on the cyclone's left forward quadrant (in the southern hemisphere). It is believed that most of the tornadoes that do form occur in the outer rain bands some 80-300 km from the centre, but some have been documented to occur in the inner core of the eye wall. It is possible that the extreme damage produced from winds in the eye wall are actually due to tornadoes.


Q: What is storm surge?


A: Storm surge is a large mound of water that accompanies a tropical cyclone as it comes ashore. The intense winds of the cyclone pile up the ocean into a dome of water that is pushed onshore as the cyclone strikes the coast. The low pressure of the cyclone adds to the height of the mound of water, though this is a secondary effect. When the height of a storm surge is discussed it does not take into account the height of the large waves on top of the mound of water.

Q: What is storm surge?


A: Storm surge is a large mound of water that accompanies a tropical cyclone as it comes ashore. The intense winds of the cyclone pile up the ocean into a dome of water that is pushed onshore as the cyclone strikes the coast. The low pressure of the cyclone adds to the height of the mound of water, though this is a secondary effect. When the height of a storm surge is discussed it does not take into account the height of the large waves on top of the mound of water.


Q: What is the difference between storm surge and storm tide?


A: The combination of storm surge and astronomical tide is known as 'storm tide'. The worst impacts occur when the storm surge arrives on top of a high tide. When this happens, the storm tide can reach areas that might otherwise have been safe. 6. The graphic below shows the actual tide (top line, blue) and the astronomical tide (red) at Exmouth during cyclone Vance (1999). The black line is the storm surge component that peaked at 3.5 metres. At this time the predicted tide was 1.4 metres so the resultant peak storm tide was 4.9 metres. If the peak surge had of occurred at the time of high tide the actual tide would have been 6.0 m or 2.6 metres above the highest astronomical tide.


Q: Why and how are cyclone names chosen?


A: Tropical cyclones are named to provide ease of communication between forecasters and the general public regarding forecasts, watches, and warnings. Having a name also raises the profile of the cyclone heightening the public's awareness. Since the storms can often last a week or longer and that more than one can be occurring in the same region at the same time, names can also reduce the confusion about what storm is being described. The Bureau of Meteorology maintains a list of names (arranged alphabetically and alternating male and female). A name remains on the list until its corresponding cyclone severely impacts the coast (e.g. Larry and Vance). The name is then permanently retired and replaced with another (of the same gender and first letter). It can take over 10 years from the time a name is put on the list to when it is first used to name a cyclone.




Q. What is COVID 19?


          COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some people can become severely ill. Although most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people experience post-COVID conditions. Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience more than four weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Older people and those who have certain underlying medical conditions are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Vaccines against COVID-19 are safe and effective.


Q. How does the Virus spread?


            COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected. COVID-19 is spread in three main ways:


• Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus.

• Having these small droplets and particles that contain virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze.

• Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them.


1. What is Community spread?


              Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. Each health department determines community spread differently based on local conditions.


2. Should I use soap and water or hand sanitiser to protect against COVID 19?


              Hand washing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.


3. What should I do if I get sick or someone in my house gets sick?


             People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID 19 excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months or who are fully vaccinated


• People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not have to quarantine or get tested again as long as they do not develop new symptoms.


• People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.


People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease and show no symptoms.

4. What are the recommendations for someone who has symptoms of COVID 19?


If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.


• Stay at home (except to get medical care).

• Separate yourself from others.

• Monitor your symptoms.

• Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when around others.

• Cover your coughs and sneezes.

• Wash your hands often.

• Clean high-touch surfaces every day.

• Avoid sharing personal household items.


5. What is the risk of my child becoming sick with COVID19?


Children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and can get sick with COVID-19. Most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or they may have no symptoms at all (“asymptomatic”). Fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults. Babies younger than 1 and children with certain underlying medical conditions may be more likely to have serious illness from COVID-19. Some children have developed a rare but serious disease that is linked to COVID-19 called multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C).


6. What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C)?


              Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a serious condition associated with COVID-19 where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. For information, see MIS-C.


7. What are the symptoms and complications that COVID 19 can cause?


People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported– ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:


• Fever or chills • Cough

• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

• Fatigue • Muscle or body aches

• Headache

• New loss of taste or smell

• Sore throat

• Congestion or runny nose

• Nausea or vomiting

• Diarrhea

• This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.