Elango, N. and Arul, C., . Ecosystem-based disaster management planning for the eastern coast of India.
The coastal zone of India is endowed with abundant coastal and marine ecosystems. India is also highly prone to natural calamities, especially floods, droughts, cyclones, and landslides. This study aims to highlight the importance of the ecosystem services along the east coast of India and incorporate the value of these resources at the planning stage of disaster management at all levels. A survey was conducted with experts at the national level who have an understanding of the existing disaster management plans along the coast of Tamil Nadu state. To understand the importance of ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction at the decision-making and planning level, further analysis was carried out in monetization of ecosystem services. The total value of ecosystem services was obtained as the product of landuse area and the value of ecosystem services. From the overall critical analysis and the initial online survey, it was inferred that ecosystem-based approaches to disaster risk reduction and managing climate change hold much promise and that investing in healthy ecosystems provides a viable route for sustainable development. There needs to be a shift from relying on structural engineering solutions to increased acceptance of social engineering approaches through consensus-building with disaster-affected communities. Despite the structural and nonstructural measures being implemented in lieu of disaster management, there is still a lacuna in effective implementation, as inferred from the study. Robust actions are needed at the planning stage, for which the adoption of ecosystem-based approaches with localised resources and knowledge would be an inclusive approach.