The dwindling sand dune ecosystem of Goa is set to receive a revamp as the World Bank recently approved a 3 crore budget for India’s first sand dune park and interpretation center.
The project proposed by the state biodiversity board will be using the 3 crores to create interpretation centres that will work to educate locals and tourists on the importance of sand dunes and their ecosystems.
To reduce the trampling of already existing sparse vegetation along the sand dunes, bridges are going to be constructed using eco-friendly materials, and in select places, there are to be nurseries to preserve and cultivate the dwindling flora.
Beaches of Morjim and Galgibaga which are popular sites for turtle nesting are also among the select beaches to receive sand dune parks.
NIO scientist and ex-member of the GSBB, Antonio Mascarenhas was the one who proposed the idea of sand dunes and will now be heading the project.
Biodiversity board member, Pradip Sarmokadam said, “Preserving sand dunes is important because they are the first line of defense from phenomena like a tsunami, tall waves, storms or high winds, which hit the coast first.”
“The vegetation on sand dunes is an important part of this ecosystem, which few are aware of. The project will also see us regularly monitoring flora and fauna on sand dunes.” He added that the project is part of the effort to create Goa’s integrated coastal zone management plan.
Sarmokadam said that the Morjim biodiversity management committee (BMC) and stakeholders have already begun conversing on the project. He added that the BMC will be working to ensure that all stakeholders are satisfied while working to restore the diminishing flora on the sand dunes.
The sand dunes of Goa and ots ecosystems have been deteriorating at an alarming rate and this scale of restoration is quite literally a new lease on life for the beaches, not to mention, these sand dune parks will be the first of its kind in India.