ICLEI South Asia has initiated a project on conserving Goa’s urban khazans, which are saline flood plains in Goa’s tidal estuaries that have been reclaimed over centuries with a complex system of bunds and sluice gates. The reclaimed land not only protects the surrounding areas from the influence of the sea, but also provides the people of Goa their staple ‘fish curry and rice’.
The project, supported by Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, aims to highlight the significance of khazan lands in sustainable and climate-resilient urban development, and to support the mainstreaming of conservation and maintenance of khazans into urban planning.
A workshop was organised in Panaji recently, in which experts and practitioners brainstormed on khazans and the ecosystem services they provide, and prepared a preliminary list of the threats being faced by khazans in and around Panaji. The project will help to develop a strategy and action plan for urban khazan management, which could be replicated in other coastal urban areas in the region. A geo-referenced map of the khazans in and around Panaji will also be developed.