Save Wetlands To Save Environment in TN
- Ayodhya Prasad Singh
- Published on 13 Feb 2023, 4:31 pm IST
- 3 minutes read
- India has so far declared 75 wetlands as Ramsar Wetland sites covering 23 states and Union Territories
- India has largest network of Ramsar sites in Asia, providing a critical ecological network for conservation of global biological diversity
- 2017-batch IFS officer Jagdish S. Bakan highlights Wetland Campaign’s impact in Tamil Nadu
- 47 Forest Officials and fishermen were felicitated on World Wetlands on February 2 this year
Forty-seven Forest Department staff and fishermen were felicitated by the Forest Department and the Wildlife Institute of India on February 2 this year to commemorate World Wetland Day. The awardees had worked for wetland conservation and rescuing35 Marine wild animals including dugongs, dolphins, whale sharks and sea turtles in Ramanathapuram Wildlife Division, Tamil Nadu.
This was also a special occasion because it marked the beginning of Government’s ‘Save Wetland Campaign’ in Tamil Nadu, which aims at enabling affirmative actions for wetlands conservation by taking a ‘whole of society’ approach.
Speaking to Indian Masterminds, Ramanathapuram DFO and 2017-batch IFS officer Jagdish S. Bakan said, “We rescued marine mammals with the help of fishermen and released them in sea. Three dugongs, seven dolphins, two whale sharks and 23 sea turtles were rescued during past few months in Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve coming. Community participation is essential for marine biodiversity conservation. That is why our ‘Save Wetland Campaigns’ has significant importance.”
SAVE WETLAND CAMPAIGN
Wetland is a areas where soil is covered with water or can be present near the ground throughout the year. India has 15.98 million hectares of wetlands, roughly equaling 4.8% of its geographical area. These wetlands are one of the most rapidly degrading ecosystems despite having immense biodiversity, ecosystem services and values. The Government of India is responding to this challenge by implementing a comprehensive and multi-pronged approach for the conservation of wetlands across various typologies ranging from Ramsar Sites, wetlands of national importance, and urban and rural.
So far, 75 wetlands have been designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites). The 100 Wetlands Rejuvenation Programme formulated under 169 Transformative Ideas of the Government of India has been up-scaled into all districts of the country with a target of reaching out to 1,000wetlands, covering all districts of the country.
Mr. Bakan said, “Save Wetland Campaign will include sensitizing people to the value of wetlands, increasing the coverage of wetland mitras, and building citizen partnerships for wetlands conservation. We celebrated World Wetlands Day at all 75 Ramsar sites this year with over 200 events. We have hosted national flag at 3 Ramsar sites in Ramanathapuram.The wetland pledge was administered during these events. Over 50 activities were held like drawing competition; quiz competition, bird watching etc. were organized.”
This year’s theme for World Wetlands Day is ‘Wetland Restoration’. It is a call for an entire generation to take proactive action for wetlands, by investing financial, human and political capital to save the wetlands from disappearing and to revive and restore those that have been degraded.
“The network of Ramsar Sites will serve as model sites or anchors for the respective State/UT. State Wetland Authorities, District Administrations, Municipal Corporations,Gram Panchayats and Educational Institutes will help spread to the coverage beyond Ramsar Sites,” Mr. Bakan said to Indian Masterminds.
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