Achievements of the CMPA Project

15 Feb, 2018

During the last five years the Costal and Marine Protected Areas (CMPA) project achieved major milestones to improve the conservation and sustainable use of the marine biological diversity in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Tamil Nadu. The experiences and best practices of the project on the following three main approaches serve as a learning experience for the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on how to achieve the larger goal of saving India’s coasts from harm:

Participatory processes for the conservation and management of Marine Protected Areas

With the support of the project, 1,690 ha of the Thane Creek in Mumbai were declared as the ‘Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary’ in August 2015. Also, in 2015, the Maharashtra Forest Department placed 1,436 hectares of mangroves in the Ratnagiri District under special protection by having them notified as Reserved Forests. Following a request from the Gujarat Forest Department for assistance in notifying two coastal sites as Wetlands of International Importance according to the Ramsar Convention, the project then facilitated the development of Ramsar Information Sheets (RIS) for Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary and Gosabara Wetland Complex in collaboration with Wetlands International.

In order to systemize records and keep track of the biodiversity in the respective pilot states, the project supported Biodiversity Management Boards and local communities in the pilot states in the establishment of village-based Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC) and facilitated the operation of the legally required Peoples’ Biodiversity Registers (PBR) in more than 20 villages.

While four of the villages in the pilot areas have undertaken necessary administrative steps to have communal areas declared as Biodiversity Heritage Site, three villages collaborating with the project on solid waste management even passed resolutions declaring their villages plastic-free.

Awareness & Communication

State-of-the-Art visitors’ centres were established in – or adjacent to – coastal sanctuaries in Mumbai (Maharashtra), Panjim (Goa), and Jamnagar (Gujarat) have become very attractive to the public with more than 1000 visitors in 2017, often being used for educational excursions by local schools.

He support for turtle conservation has increased, management of turtle hatching enclosures has improved, and villagers in areas known as turtle nesting sites have increased their income by offering low-cost homestay opportunities to conservation oriented visitors.


Khijadia Interpretation Centre, An interactive station for the local community to learn more about the biodiversity of coastal Gujarat.

Tourists attracted towards turtle hatching enclosures in Velas village, Maharashtra

Olive Ridley hatchling returning to sea Photo Credit Supriya Jhunjhunwal...

Facilitate capacity development of key sectors and stakeholders at national and state level

A total of 2.434 participants were trained under various training measures representing a myriad of functional areas such as central government, state government departments, national level research and training institutions, universities, media, Non-Governmental Organizations, regional and international organizations. The participants came from 14 different states of India and 5 union territories. All the coastal states of India were represented in the training programs, as were most of the terrestrial states. 144 Capacity development events were conducted which contributed to the 86 training courses for the various stakeholders.

A competence based curriculum was developed for

  • MPA managers including senior IFS officers, IFS probationers, and for Field-level MPA managers in English, Gujarati and Marathi languages
  • Media professionals and students
  • Science teachers of higher education institutions in India
  • Officers managing coastal and marine resources from Fisheries and other relevant sector departments
  • Trainers and faculty members of forest, fisheries and media

The training courses were implemented together with partner training institutions such as the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy (IGNFA), Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Indian Institute of SCUBA Diving and Aquatic Sports (IISDA), St Xavier’s College Mumbai, Xavier Institute of Communication (XIC) Mumbai, St Paul Institute of Communication Education (SPICE), and Gujarat University with support from International training agencies such as the Earthwatch Institute India, Dale Carnegie India; (at the State level) GEER Foundation in Gujarat, Mangrove Cell in Maharashtra, and Goa Forest Department in Goa.

For more information, please take a look at the CMPA knowledge products and Training materials. A map with the locations of the CMPA project  sites is also online. All the project related videos you can watch here. For more information please contact

Previous Next