[Excerpted and updated form the souvenir of the 1st International Seminar on ‘COASTAL ENVIRONMENT IN ASIAN MARINE -POTENTIALITIES & PROBLEMS’, Written by DR. AJIT KUMAR DOLUI, READER IN AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY & SOIL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, CALCUTTA UNIVERSITY in the year 1989, at Birla Industrial & Technological Museum (Govt. of india), Calcutta, India. One of the core scientists of AMCA, Dr. Dolui is expert in coastal soil chemistry, having meritorious scientific publications, however, apart from his responsibility and commitment as being the treasurer of the International committee of the ASIAN MARINE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION (AMCA)]
Professionally a lawyer, besides his educational degrees in biological and agricultural sciences, and subsequently educated and trained in the field of marine science and management at Bermuda Island (when he was in academic course & training under Prof. James Newton Bulter, G. M. Professor of Applied chemistry, Harvard University, U.S.A.), Dr. Anupam Ghosh had realized that sea’s living resources are not inexhaustible and oceans can no longer be treated as a bottomless sink for pollutants. Prior to 1982, being less acquainted with the activities already adopted by the world’s authentic organizations, Dr. Ghosh started to communicate and to visit to many potential people/scientists working in the marine and coastal fields in Europe and United States, to become more experienced on the situation then were prevailing in the oceanic environment. Being highly encouraged by many scientists, he became strongly interested in looking for the sources of sea’s problem(s) exactly. He realized that most of the sea’s problem being on land, proceeds to the sea through coasts and finally come back to the land to haunt the pe
ople in many ways of ecological disturbances which eventually lead to the disruption of socio-economic, systems-locally, nationally, and internationally.
To evaluate, assess and think over the problem critically and for its solution internationally (he uses the quotation ‘marine environment does not have any boundary, – the boundary we imagine is political and therefore, human-made!’), he thought that simultaneous drive for both education and mass awareness program in marine and coastal disciplines, these that have not yet been carried out in action here, could motivate scientists, social-scientists, technologists and decision-makers to a good extent of interest in the solution locally, nationally, regionally and thereby, internationally.
He himself considers and has been trying to convince others that the coastal problems are less often the dangerous concern of just one country, rather, there lies every possibility of the neighboring countries to become victimized in the forms particularly of declined fish harvest, degradation of coastal and/or deep water marine ecosystems caused by unwise disposal of urban and town wastes up the coasts, and oil spills (always accidental?) those smear the tourist beaches and degrade the overall marine ecosystems. Perhaps and very much wanted to start the organization — what now is known as ASIAN MARINE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION (AMCA).
In the year 1987, he requested Mr. B. K. Ganguly of a consultancy firm, to help him by providing a space to teach students exclusively in the marine and coastal resources management. At that time, I (Dr. Ajit Kumar Dolui, Reader in Agricultural Chemistry & Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Calcutta University) also admired and actively supported (and still support) his concept that, ‘more being taught in general marine science with specialization, people will can not be able to cope with the problems of marine and coastal areas’. Anyway, after consultation with Mr. Ganguly, Dr. Ghosh approached to another businessman Mr. R. Chatterjee for providing a space for the purpose of educating the people in the discipline of Coastal Resources Management where Conservation of Resources and Defending The Marine Pollution should specially be envisaged. When provided with a space through a private institute owned by Mr. Chatterjee. Dr Ghosh-as the Hony. Course Coordinator was able to start the Post Graduate Diploma Course, ‘COASTAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT & CONSERVATION OF RENEWABLE MARINE RESOURCES’ with exclusive and cordial assistance from Prof. N. C. Datta, department of Zoology, Calcutta University, Dr. S. C. Santra Head, Department of Ecology, Kalyani University, WB, India, Dr. G. K. Das, Ottawa University, Canada, Mr. B. K. Ghosh (information Scientist ) as well as from me (Dr. Dolui). for this course, Prof. N. C. Datta acted as the Hony. Course-Director, and the rest of us were faculty members having independent area of specializations.
To proceed with his noble and devoted venture, Dr. Ghosh, in the meanwhile, had performed severl communications to many potential peoples, scientists, and also decision-making organizations and received bulk of materials in exclusively cooperated manner from many potential sources of world corners, specially from : (1) Ms. Meera Pathmaraja, International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals (IRPTC), Switzerland; (2) Mr. M. R Amini and (3) Ms. Annette Foerster, OCA/PAC, UNEP, (4) Dr. David A. Ross and (5) Dr. T. A. Landry, International Marine Science Cooperation Program, U.S.A.
Going through enormous and authentic documents, Dr. Ghosh then became confident that it should be an urgent need to form ASIAN MARINE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION (AMCA) (so for I recall my memory, Dr. Ghosh had himself coined this name of the association !)legally authenticated and should have been working restricted to the Asian Region, where the people are anyway handicapped to develop them in this particular area due to whatever reasons. By nature very faster in work and activities, Dr. Ghosh immediately took action by approaching to several potential scientists worldwide and requested them to help him (Dr. Ghosh) in forming the’AMCA’. Except a few, almost everybody committed to him with their active cooperation in noble manner. Thereafter, with active cooperation form renowned scientists like Prof. James N. Bulter, (Harvard University, U.S.A), Dr. Celso R Roque (Govt. of Philippines), Prof. (Dr.) Md. Anisul Islam (Chittagong University, Bangladesh), Prof. (Dr. N. C. Datta and Dr. Ajit Kumar Dolui (Calcutta University), Dr S. C. Santra (Kalyani University), Mr. B. K. Ghosh (Information Scientists, British Council, Calcutta), Mr. Dilip Kumar Saha (Advocate, High Court, Calcutta), Mr. Ajay Bhattacharyya and many other ex-students of the 1st Coastal Resources Management course, Dr. Anupam Ghosh had been able to form the ASIAN MARINE CONSERVTION ASSOCIATION(AMCA) overcoming many hindrances in social, legal, and financial matters. AMCA has been registered with the government and has already been able to attract many potential scientists, social-scientists, decision-making personalities, not only from the Asian region but from the world comers also.
It is dedicated to the cause of conservation and management of coastal and marine resources to cooperate in fulfillment of the objectives of the UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMEN PROGRAMME. (Ocean and Coastal Areas) and has been responsible to act as a noble organization for the international coordination and understanding through education, research and management of the ocean resources on which our civilization will be surviving, depending and progressing.