New Delhi [India], February 4 (ANI): Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav on Saturday launched the 'Save Wetlands Campaign' in the presence of Chief Minister of Goa, Pramod Sawant.
This campaign is structured on a "whole of society" approach to wetlands conservation, enabling affirmative actions for wetlands conservation at all levels of society and involving all strata of society. The campaign, over the next year, will include sensitizing people to the value of wetlands, increasing the coverage of wetlands 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 the 75 Ramsar Sites, including their values, threats they faced and management arrangements. Meanwhile, 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.
Bhupendra Yadav interacted with wetlands managers of states and heard their experiences about achievements and challenges.
In his address to the gathering present at the event, the Union Minister highlighted the critical role played by the wetland ecosystem in securing ecological, economic and climate security.
He further mentioned various green initiatives taken by the Government in the Union 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.
Union Minister Yadav also emphasised the importance of strengthening communication, education, awareness and participation in wetlands conservation.
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 the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change and the Government of Goa who visited the Nanda Lake.
Nanda Lake is 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 Sawant congratulated Government of India for the achievement of 75 Ramsar Sites in the 75th year of independence and for realising the dream of the Prime Minister.
Sawant also thanked the Government of India for supporting the State in the designation of Nanda Lake as a Ramsar site and for giving Goa the opportunity to organise the event. He assured that Goa would continue to work towards achieving the goal of sustainable development.
In line with the emphasis on participatory management of wetlands by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the mission and vision of the Sahbhagita Mission, based on an advisory issued by the Ministry, State Governments and UT administrations celebrated World Wetlands Day enthusiastically at all 75 Ramsar sites this year with over 200 events with the hoisting of flag at the Ramsar Sites.
Over 50 activities including a drawing competition, quiz competition, exposure activities, and bird watching were organised for the students. The wetland pledge was administered during these events.
The site-level celebrations were followed by a Regional Consultative Workshop for Restoration and Integrated Management of Wetlands held at Goa on February 3, 2023, which saw the participation of 48 representatives 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.
World Wetlands Day is observed on February 2 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 calls 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.' (ANI)