Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands

Coastal region and small island papers 17

Annex I  Field project summary
  Environmental, social and cultural implications of a ship-breaking industry,
Alang-Sosiya, Gujarat, India
Revision date

1 June 2003

Title  Environmental, social and cultural implications of a ship-breaking industry, Alang-Sosiya, Ship-Breaking Yard (ASSBY) Gujarat, India.
  1. To develop wise practices for sustainable living and working conditions in the coastal area based on the initial two survey phases
  2. To build upon existing work on stakeholders’ analysis
  3. To hold workshops for convergence among the stakeholders
  4. To determine the feasibility and lay the foundation of a ‘wise practices’ stakeholder agreement
Location ASSBY and ten hinterland villages, coast of Gujarat, India
Starting date January 1999
Partners Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar
Centre for Social Studies, Surat (http://www.centreforsocialstudies.org/)
Gujarat Maritime Board, Gujarat
Gujarat Ship-Breakers Association
UNESCO Coastal Regions and Small Islands platform
Co-ordinator of the project Dr Sumanben Chaudhary, Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar (third phase)
Hon. Adviser Prof. Vidyut Joshi, Centre for Social Studies, Surat
Description In the first phase, environmental and socio-economic surveys were carried out by an interdisciplinary team from Bhavnagar University. Based on the survey data, a stakeholder analysis was carried out in the second phase. Workshops were organized to crystallize and articulate concerns of the villages and the workers
  1. Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB)
  2. Gujarat Ship-Breakers Association (GSBA)
  3. Villagers of hinterland villages to ASSBY
  4. Migrant workers
Achievements and assessment
  1. Increased economic activity due to ASSBY has given rise to a construction boom which has led to encroachment on community grazing lands and increased pressure on fodder and fuel wood plants and ‘weed’ plants used in traditional medicine.
  2. Work at ASSBY is economically more viable for pastoralists and subsistence farmers, who are drifting towards ASSBY for alternate employment. Agricultural laborers have become scarce and more expensive; however, farmers who adopted improved farming techniques are doing well.
  3. Overall, economic conditions, education and literacy have improved, but health facilities and awareness have shown only marginal improvement.
  4. There is greater social and cultural openness; caste-based rules are becoming less rigid. There is increasing consumerism and traditional values are being replaced by materialism.
  5. Women are experiencing greater economic and political freedom.
  6. Inadequate provision of water facilities for the ever-increasing population in the study area.
  7. There has been some destruction of coastal vegetation, including mangroves, in the wider area around ASSBY.
  8. There remain substantial obstacles to addressing the immediate social and environmental problems at ASSBY given the situation that different stakeholders hold different views of ASSBY development.

All the four stakeholders have some common interests which include the development of ASSBY and resolving some of the water problems. The stakeholders also have divergent primary interests as well as conflicting interests. Integration between immigrant workers and local residents is a major challenge.

Future direction
  1. The scope of the project may need to be expanded in terms of the involvement of stakeholder groups; this will potentially include the Gujarat and Central Governments as well as NGOs.
  2. The project will work towards the development of a permanent forum for dialogue between the stakeholders.
  3. In consultation with other agencies, and with the direct participation of the four stakeholder groups, the project will attempt to initiate a mechanism that will involve effective representation of all four stakeholder groups in a process of dialogue to address issues and reduce conflicts at ASSBY, on a regular basis. This will be in the nature of a ‘wise practices agreement’ (a voluntary agreement between the stakeholder groups). This ‘wise practices agreement’ will have as its goal the prevention and
    resolution of conflicts, and will also inform policy makers.
  4. Foster activities that facilitate convergence between stakeholders interests.

    Sustainable development directions:
  5. Solving water problem through techniques such as water shed management and reverse osmosis.
  6. Re-establishing ecological balance by planting mangroves.
  7. Implementation of ICZM.
Current tasks
  1. Preparation of a CSI publication that documents the activities of the project so far, including a synthesis of the first two comprehensive reports produced by the project team at the University of Bhavnagar concerning the environment and stakeholder issues.
  2. Documentation of two multi-stakeholder workshops with the four major stakeholder groups to discuss issues of concern, make specific recommendations on how the process of collaboration between the stakeholder groups can be strengthened so as to form the basis for a wise practice agreement and preparation of a list of ten prioritized actions.



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