ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

On World Wetlands Day, Forest Officers Unite to Stress the Importance of ‘Kidneys of Ecosystem’

The theme of World Wetlands Day this year is ‘Wetlands Action for People and Nature' which aims to highlight the importance of actions to conserve and sustain wetlands. Wetlands are the key to disaster risk reduction, water and food security, climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation in our country. On World Wetlands Day, Indian Masterminds spoke to IFS officers to know about their perspective on the importance of our wetlands and what more needs to be done to preserve them.

Today, February 2, is World Wetlands Day and the theme this year is ‘Wetlands Action for People and Nature’. It aims to highlight the importance of actions to conserve and sustain wetlands.

Wetlands are the region where water covers the soil for an extended period of time. It produces the ideal condition for the growth of highly adapted plants and species. They are the primary sources of water, natural buffers against floods and droughts for many. Most importantly, wetlands reduce the impact of climate change. They are the key to disaster risk reduction, water and food security, climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation in our country.

Indian Masterminds spoke to forest officers, Ankit Kumar, IFS, and Dharm Singh Meena, IFS, about the importance of this year’s theme and its practical implementation on the ground.

KIDNEYS OF AN ECOSYSTEM

IFS officer Ankit Kumar, who is the DCF CAMPA, Department of Environment and Forest, Arunachal Pradesh, said that wetlands are called the ‘kidneys of an ecosystem’ because they help in cleaning and filtering the polluted waters, stabilizing the water supplies, protecting the shorelines, and recharging the groundwater aquifers.

IFS Ankit Kumar DCF CAMPA, Department of Environment and Forest, Arunachal Pradesh

“Wetlands act as ‘natural carbon sinks’ and store more carbon than any other ecosystem. Thus, they also act as climate regulators. They are ‘nurseries of life’ as they support rich biodiversity of plants, indigenous and migratory avifauna, amphibians among others. They are, thus, integral to the survival of all forms of life on the planet.” 

He further informed that wetlands help in management of urban areas by reducing the heat-island effect, reducing the risk of flooding, replenishing the groundwater aquifers, filtering waste, and improving the quality of air.

“They are primary sources of freshwater and provide food, water and shelter to many living organisms and, therefore, the loss of wetlands leads to loss of traditional livelihood. Wetlands also act as buffers against natural disasters such as storm surges, tsunamis, floods and droughts. Mangrove ecosystem in Sundarbans is one example.” 

WETLAND CONSERVATION 

Mr. Kumar shared two initiatives which can be taken to conserve the wetlands. Firstly, he said that local level integrated wetland management plans need to be formulated. 

“Such plans should include the identification of wetlands in the region, site characteristics, ecosystem services provided by that wetland or network of wetlands in the region, present and potential threats, and short and long term interventions needed to revive the wetland, if required.”. 

Secondly, he said that the awareness and public outreach campaigns against over-extraction of resources such as sand, boulders, fish and others, as well as for the management of waste from such ecosystems should be conducted.

WETLANDS MINIMIZE CLIMATE CHANGE 

IFS officer Dharm Singh Meena, who is the DFO of Narendra Nagar Forest Division, Uttarakhand, shared about the historical Ramsar convention on wetlands. 

IFS Dharm Singh Meena DFO, Narendra Nagar Forest Division, Uttarakhand

He said that in 1971 at Ramsar in Iran, there was an international convention on wetlands where it was decided that wetlands, flood areas and rivers are extremely important for aquatic animals, amphibians because these wetlands provide habitat and food to many birds, mammals and other species. 

“Wetlands are very important for the conservation of our flora and fauna, and at the same time, they also help in minimizing climate change.” 

Further, mentioning the initiatives taken in Uttarakhand for wetland conservation, he said, “In Uttarakhand, we have identified so many wetlands and the government, too, has allocated funds in the budget for the conservation of these wetlands and floodplains. With these funds, various types of conservation schemes are being implemented throughout the state.” 

Related Stories

News

Aramane Giridhar
"Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Is A Precious Jewel In The Crown Of India," Says Defense Secretary Giridhar Aramane
punjab gov
Punjab: IAS Karnail Singh Made Additional Secy, Employment Generation and Training
IAS_(Central_Association)_logo
Punjab: Three IAS Officers Get Additional Charge, Check List Here
IAS Officer Logo
IAS Abhilash Likhi Given Additional Charge As Secy, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
Rajasthan-police-800x445
Rajasthan: IPS Sanjay Kumar Agrawal Made DGP, Intelligence
download-1
Rajasthan: IPS Hemant Priyadarshy Appointed as DGP- SCRB, Cyber Crime And Technical Services
changthang-wildlife-sanctuary
Pune Forest Dept Issues Legal Notices to Tourists Who Fed Wild Animals & Circulated Videos
Forest & Wood Certification
Telangana State Government Reports Extensive Forest Land Encroachment

Videos

image-4
IFS Officer Jyotsna Sitling Leads Community in Eco-Restoration Efforts
Dr Sanjeev Chopra
IAS Alone Don't Run The Government; It's A Synergy Of All Services
How Valley Of Flower Became A World Heritage Site
"An Environmental Crusade: How This IFS Officer Salvaged 44 Tons of Garbage
ADVERTISEMENT
Latest

Latest

Aramane Giridhar
"Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Is A Precious Jewel In The Crown Of India," Says Defense Secretary Giridhar Aramane
punjab gov
Punjab: IAS Karnail Singh Made Additional Secy, Employment Generation and Training
ADVERTISEMENT
Videos

Videos

image-4
Dr Sanjeev Chopra
How Valley Of Flower Became A World Heritage Site
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT