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Andaman and the Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep under ecological stress by Mayank Aggarwal and Sahana Ghosh February 17,2020   |  Source: Mongabay

Located in the Arabian Sea, off the western coast of India, Lakshadweep is a group of 36 islands and is the smallest union territory of India. Its total geographical area is only 30 sq. km and it has a total population of only 0.064 million. According to the ISFR 2019, the forest cover in the union territory is 27.10 sq. km. which is 90.33 percent of its geographical area. About 82 percent of the land mass is covered by privately owned coconut plantations. It has a vast lagoon of 4,200 sq. km. with sandy beaches and abundance of marine fauna. The livelihood of inhabitants of Lakshadweep is dependent on fishery and tourism but one of the most serious concern the region faces is coastal erosion.

“Lakshwadeep is a densely populated area unlike the general perception that it is a deserted paradise. The biggest stress that the whole ecological system of the area faces is climate change. In maximum, two-three generations it will become inhabitable. One other major concern is the large scale commercial fishing taking place which is emptying the fish stocks. In terms of forests, it is largely coconut plantations,” Rohan Arthur, a senior scientist and founding trustee of the Nature Conservation Foundation, told Mongabay-India.

Unsustainable tourism and development

The Prime

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