According to a study, Parali I island, one of the biodiversity-rich uninhabited islands parts of Lakshadweep has disappeared due to coastal erosion and another four such islands in Lakshadweep sea are shrinking fast. The researcher had conducted studies on assessment of biodiversity confining to five uninhabited islands– Parali I, II and III, Bangaram, Thinnakara in Lakshadweep, an archipelago of 36 islands in Lakshadweep sea.
The assessment related to geomorphological changes associated with each island for a period of 45 years was carried out using geospatial techniques such as Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) to confirm the claim.
Parali I island, part of Bangaram atoll which was 0.032 square km in 1968 has been eroded to an extent of 100%, resulting in its inundation. Apart from Parali I, net erosion was higher in Parali II (80%), followed by Thinnakara (14.38%), Parali III (11.42%) and Bangaram (9.968%). The five islets of Bangaram atoll also have undergone coastal erosion.
The study has recommended of a bio protection strategy using mangroves, in addition to the conventional physical protection measures from coastal erosion.
The complete erosion and inundation of Parali I is pointing to the gravity of issues associated with coastal erosion within atoll. It calls for urgent measures to be implemented on each islet of the atoll in Lakshadweep sea to check further erosion. Further, due to increasing global temperature because of climate change, islands and coastal areas are facing erosion and inundation due to rising sea levels. India’s coasts and islands are densely populated, are highly vulnerable. There is urgent need to start preparing for building defenses to protect coastlines and islands as sea levels are predicted to rise further.