Even as tourism in the Andaman islands picks up, Greenpeace India reminds us with pressing urgency of the issues that need to be addressed in order to preserve the magnificent biodiversity and health of our oceans. The ongoing high-level segment meetings at the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) in Hyderabad will see heads of state decide on measures to safeguard the oceans and marine life that inhabit them. While the CBD ends on October 19, Greenpeace activists send a message to the Indian government from the seabed. Diving to a depth of 65 feet (nearly 20 meters) just off the coast of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, Greenpeace activists unfurled a banner reading: "India, Protect our oceans now".
This location was chosen because the Andaman Islands have a unique marine ecosystem. It is also one of the most biodiversity-rich areas of the Indian Ocean and it highlights what’s at stake if protection measures are not taken urgently.
Areeba Hamid, Oceans campaigner, Greenpeace India said, “India currently has less than 2% of its marine areas protected. Outside of these areas, unsustainable destructive activities -- from large ports to industrial fishing are threatening India’s rich marine bounty, and the many people who depend directly on it for its livelihoods. If India is serious about priortising marine and coastal conservation in the country then our leaders should begin by devising comprehensive means of protecting our offshore waters.”
Through this campaign, Greenpeace urges the Indian government to protect the oceans and the communities whose livelihoods are dependent on the fruits of the sea.
Photos courtesy Greenpeace India
- In the wild, wild Andaman islands >>
- The Amazing World of the Deep Sea >>