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When we talk about the coasts, our mind quickly thinks of beaches, the bright sun, ocean breeze.Yes. The thoughts are very pleasant. However, the word “coast” also brings up images of hurricanes and tsunamis, natural disasters the last few years have become synonymous with. These events have made governments and global institutions around the world sit up and take notice as the frequency of natural disasters increases with humanitarian costs being unfathomable, the destruction unthinkable. Coping with the aftermath is a costly and difficult task and it is these facts that have pushed countries and governments to prepare for disasters and disaster risk management.

The Integrated Coastal Zone Management project (ICZMP) recognizes disaster preparedness and risk management as an integral element of integrated coastal management. Through our disaster preparedness trainings, we trained over 600 beneficiaries residing in Kutch, Morbi and Jamnagar located along Gujarat’s coast. This training was a collaboration between Gujarat Ecology Commission, Marine National Park and Kutch Forest Circle of the Forests and Environment Department, the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) and project beneficiaries from village CBOs, Edo-development Committees and SHGs.

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The training program on Disaster Preparedness for the coastal community included demonstrative trainings on search & rescue, provision of first aid in the event of a natural disaster by trained experts from GSDMA, MNP and the Forest department, Government of Gujarat. It is important to highlight this initiative on International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) 2014 to join the global dialogue on disaster risk management for resilient communities and coasts.

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