Towards strengthening human-environment systems in Chilika lagoon


NIRMAN has started work on Chilika Lagoon and we plan to work towards strengthening the human-environment system of the Lagoon. We felt the need to work on the Chilika issues after closely studying the research findings of Dr. Prateep Kumar Nayak who has been working with the fishers since 2007. The local livelihoods of fisher folks, their access rights to capture fishery sources, and ecological functions of Chilika lagoon have undergone tremendous changes. Opening of a new sea mouth in 2001 has caused severe problems for the lagoon and its fisher folks. Decades of illegal prawn aquaculture has also contributed to the ecological degradation of the Lagoon. Ongoing conflicts between traditional fisher folks and the non-fishers have alienated the traditional fisher folks from the Lagoon through the breakdown of fishing-based livelihoods and large-scale occupational displacement of traditional fishers.

NIRMAN collaborated with the University of Waterloo, Canada and the Chilika Fisher Federation to organize a two days’ workshop to create debate and build public opinion on strengthening the human-environment system of the Lagoon. A poetry book titled Ardhasatabdir Chilika was published which vividly depicts the natural grandeur of Chilika, every creatures nurtured by it, its enchanting water, the islands, and hamlets peripheral to it, numerous migratory birds, and varieties of fishes playing in its waters. It highlights the picture of ecological foundations of fishing societies and cultures in and around Chilika. These poems stand testimony to the fact that the human and the natural environments they depend upon are highly integral and virtually inseparable. 

NIRMAN plans to continue work in Chilika Lagoon area through research, advocacy and information dissemination processes.

Field School on Environmental Change and Governance held at Chilika Lagoon
Chilika Field School Brochure
Proceedings of State-level Consultation...