National Centre for Marine Biodiversity

National Centre for Marine Biodiversity (NCMB) is coming up at Jamnagar for safeguarding the biodiversity of the coastal areas. This is country’s first research institute established in public private partnership (PPP) mode in the country. 

With a growing emphasis on coastal and marine area management, it has now become inevitable to institutionalize a process for greater and in-depth research in the marine environment, to ensure that measured steps are taken in the direction for better and efficient management of the fast depleting marine resource. With this objective, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, in collaboration with the Gujarat Ecology Commission, launched the NCMB in Jamnagar. Jamnagar, a port town, was selected for the centre because of its proximity to India's only National Marine Park — spread over some 200 in the Gulf of Kutch. 

The Centre envisions a long-term conservation and better management of coastal and marine biodiversity in India. Its overall mission is to support integrated management of coastal and marine biodiversity and ensure sustainable development and hazard risk management. The Centre aims at developing a repository of information on marine life to facilitate marine biodiversity conservation and management in India. The Centre will also be instrumental in promoting world class research activity in respect of the coastal and marine eco-systems, and would impart training and education to the youth for maintaining the ecological balance in the fragile coastal areas, awareness with respect to marine biodiversity conservation and ecological literacy. 

By inculcating aspects of research and development into conservation process, this facility is likely to mitigate the severe rise in number of endangered biodiversity. It has been noted that over the years, marine biodiversity has been readily ignored in India’s conservation programs. So far, around 25 species of fish and amphibians have been listed as critically endangered species in India, and without proper conservational and research programs, much of marine biodiversity may face the brunt extinction. All the marine species listed as critically endangered do not have protected habitats and hence there is a need to expand the network of marine national parks to begin addressing this important issue. 

The centre is a part of an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project launched recently by the Ministry with World Bank assistance through the Society for Integrated Coastal Management, to be managed in the State by the Gujarat Ecology Commission. It will be the first marine national park of India located under the Reliance turf of Jamnagar.

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