Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands

Coastal region and small island papers 17


Anne Ebner 2003
"Each leased plot at ASSBY employs between 150200 workers and towards the end of 2003 there were around 15,000 workers employed in approximately 80 working plots. Over 90% of the total labourers engaged at ASSBY are migrants, who come seeking better employment opportunities than those available in their home states..."



Vidyut Joshi
Former Vice-Chancellor,
Bhavnagar  University
and Senior Fellow,
Centre for Social Studies,
South Gujarat University

Harishchandra Dube
Former Head,
Department of Life Sciences,
Bhavnagar University

Dirk G. Troost

Derek Elias and Gillian Cambers
CSI Consultants

The adverse impacts of unplanned and uncontrolled industrialization have been well publicised. In this context, the creation of a major operation such as the Alang-Sosiya Ship-Breaking Yard (ASSBY) in a sensitive coastal area in the state of Gujarat, India, presents many challenges and lessons for practitioners of integrated coastal management.

A multidisciplinary field project, focusing on managing conflicts environmental, social and economic among the major stakeholder groups involved at ASSBY has been initiated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization through the Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and in Small Islands platform.

The sheer size and scope of the ship-breaking activities at ASSBY has necessitated tailoring a project that could effectively address the unique and complex nature of the social upheavals and environmental impacts that have been experienced in the vicinity over the last twenty years. The activities have involved researchers from a variety of institutions and disciplines and have raised awareness and prompted changes of attitude on environmental and social problems among stakeholders. The development of an effective communication process for the management and resolution of the social and environmental problems at ASSBY is the cornerstone for sustainable development in this coastal region, and is essentially a long-term objective.

The present document reports on the results of the work undertaken, the results achieved and future project directions. Sincere thanks and appreciation go to those individuals, institutions and agencies who have supported and participated in the project thus far, and in particular Bhavnagar University and the Centre for Social Studies, South Gujarat University; key stakeholder groups, namely the villagers, migrant workers, the Gujarat Maritime Board and the ship-breakers; the Gujarat Ecology Commission, the Iron Steel Scrap & Ship-Breakers Association of India and the Gujarat Ship-Breakers Association. Special thanks are also due to Rupa Abdi for her invaluable assistance in the preparation of this report.





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