Management of seagrass beds in Palk Bay

IUCN facilitated strategies for seagrass conservation in Palk Bay

Project title: Community-supported management and conservation strategies for seagrass beds in Palk Bay

Location: Palk Bay, Tamil Nadu, India

Project Background: Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar, in Tamil Nadu, on the south-east coast of India, host the maximum extent (3,000 hectares) of seagrass beds in India; fourteen species of seagrass have been conclusively identified in the region.

It is increasingly being recognised that these seagrass beds should be better managed to meet a wider range of interacting and often conflicting environmental, social and economic objectives. Several studies have focused on the ecological and social aspects of the Palk Bay seagrass ecosystem. However, little attention has been given to the economic value of this ecosystem in terms of the direct and indirect benefits it provides to a wide range of stakeholders. A better understanding of these benefits and the way they are shared among stakeholders is essential if management plans for the conservation and sustainable use of seagrass beds are likely to win the approval of those whose livelihood depends on this important resource.

Based on the premise that removing the stressors or pressures on the ecological character of these ecosystems is the best way to prevent further loss and degradation, it is equally important that the economic losses generated by significant threats to the ecosystem services provided by the Palk Bay seagrass are also addressed. This will assist practitioners and managers in developing management plans towards addressing and minimising prioritised threats to these ecosystems.

Objectives of the project:

  • To economically evaluate the benefits of, and the economic loss rendered by, anthropogenic threats to ecosystem services
  • To develop community-based management and conservation strategies to optimise the wise-use of the seagrass beds, whilst ensuring an equitable sharing of the identified benefits provided by this ecosystem


  • An economic valuation of the services provided by the Palk Bay seagrass ecosystem
  • Community-based management strategies for the effective conservation of the Palk Bay seagrass

Donor: Deutsche Gesellschaft fur lnternationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH India

Partner: Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute (SDMRI)  

Go to top