Bhupender Yadav launches ‘Save Wetlands Campaign’
Ten News Network
National (04/02/2023): Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched the ‘Save Wetlands Campaign’ in the presence of Chief Minister of Goa. This campaign is structured on a “whole of society” approach for wetlands conservation, enabling affirmative actions for wetlands conservation at all levels of the society and involving all strata of the society. This campaign over next one year will include sensitizing people of the value of wetlands, increasing the coverage of wetland mitras and building citizen partnerships for wetlands conservation.
Two publications were also released during the occasion, ‘India’s 75 Amrit Dharohar- India’s Ramsar Sites Factbook’ and ‘ Managing Climate Risks in Wetlands – A Practitioner’s Guide. The factbook is a one-stop resource of information on our 75 Ramsar Sites, including their values, threats they face and management arrangements. The practitioner’s Guide on Climate Risk Assessment provides step-wise guidance on assessing the site-level climate risks and integration of adaptation and mitigation responses into the wetland management plan.
Yadav interacted with wetlands managers of states and heard their experiences about achievements and challenges. In his address, the Union Minister highlighted the critical role played by the wetland ecosystem in securing the ecological, economic and climate security. He also mentioned about various green initiatives taken by the Government in the budget 2023 under the leadership of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi including Amrit Dharohar, MISHTI, PM PRANAM, Green credit and Green Growth aligned with Mission LiFE. Yadav also highlighted the achievements of the country in last about 9 years under the leadership of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi during which country has not only developed economically but also with ecological balance. The Minister also emphasised on the importance of strengthening communication, education, awareness and participation for the conservation of the wetlands.
Yadav also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Mann ki Baat of January 29, 2023 highlighted the invaluable role played by local communities in conservation of Ramsar Sites.
The national celebrations of World Wetlands Day which concluded today saw the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav, Chief Minister of Goa, dignitaries from Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change and Government of Goa visit Nanda Lake, Goa’s first Ramsar Site to oversee the conservation and management efforts. On this occasion the Union Environment Minister unfurled the National Flag and unveiled the signboard of Nanda Lake.
Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramod Savant congratulated Government of India for the achievement of 75 Ramsar Sites in 75th year of independence and realising the dream of the Prime Minister. He also thanked Government of India for supporting the State in designation of Nanda Lake as a Ramsar site and he also thanked for giving Goa the opportunity to organise the event. He assured that Goa will continue to work towards achieving the goal of sustainable development.
In line with emphasis on participatory management of wetlands by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the mission and vision of Sahbhagita Mission, based on advisory issued by Ministry, State Governments and UT administrations celebrated World Wetlands Day enthusiastically at all 75 Ramsar sites this year with over 200 events with hoisting of flag at the Ramsar Sites and organising over 50 activities with student engagement in which drawing competition, quiz competition, exposure activities, and bird watching were organized. The wetland pledge was administered during these events.
The site level celebrations was followed by a Regional Consultative Workshop for Restoration and Integrated Management of Wetlands held at Goa on February 3, 2023 which saw participation of 48 reperesnetatives from 7 states namely Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Goa, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. This workshop, organised under Mission Sahbhagita, is a platform for sharing wetland management experiences, success stories, best practices as well challenges. Three roundtable discussions on mainstreaming LiFE Mission in wetland management, restoration and integrated management of wetlands, and youth engagement and outreach, were included in deliberations.
About World Wetlands Day
World Wetlands Day is observed on 2nd February every year worldwide to commemorate the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in 1971. India is a party to the Convention since 1982 and has so far declared 75 wetlands as Ramsar sites covering 23 states and Union Territories.
The 2023 theme for World Wetlands Day is ‘Wetland Restoration’ which highlights the urgent need to prioritize wetland restoration. It is a call on 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.
India has the largest network of Ramsar Sites in Asia, making these sites a critical ecological network for the conservation of global biological diversity and supporting human well-being. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) launched Mission Sahbhagita in 2022 with a mission of ‘a healthy and effectively managed network of 75 wetlands of national and international significance which support water and food security; buffer from floods, droughts, cyclones and other extreme events; employment generation; conservation of species of local, national and international significance; climate change mitigation and adaptation actions; and recognition, conservation and celebration of cultural heritage.’