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Now, India has a dedicated Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management in Chennai

The Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management has multiple roles to play. It will address specific research needs and knowledge gaps to address wetlands and their management and bring capacity development and cutting-edge research to wetlands in India.

New Delhi, April 11, 2021: India got its dedicated Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM) at the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) in Chennai, an institution under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Babul Supriyo, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change announced the same on the occasion of the World Wetland Day on February 2, 2021.

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Image: Current Affairs

What is Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management?

The Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management is aimed at protecting and preserving areas where water exists at or near the Earth’s surface, such as swamps, marshes and bogs. 

Wetlands cover at least six per cent of the Earth and have become a focal issue for conservation due to the ecosystem services they provide. More than three billion people, around half the world’s population, obtain their basic water needs from inland freshwater wetlands.

Wetland conservation is necessary because it serves as a habitat for waterbirds, the convention has subsequently broadened its scope to address all aspects of wetland conservation and wise use.

This shift in focus reflects the increasing recognition of the importance of wetlands as ecosystems that contribute to both biodiversity conservation and human well-being. .Wetlands cover an estimated nine percent of the Earth’s land surface, and contribute significantly to the global economy in terms of water supply, fisheries, agriculture, forestry and tourism.

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Image: Utkal Today

Role of Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management

According to the Press Information Bureau press release, Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management has multiple roles to play in the conservation of wetlands. It will address specific research needs and knowledge gaps to address wetlands and their management and bring capacity development and cutting-edge research to wetlands in India.

 It is also positioned to apply integrated approaches for conservation, management and wise use of India’s 42 globally-significant ‘Ramsar’ wetland sites, according to the release.

Research shows that almost 4.6 percent of India’s land areas are wetlands, spanning 15.26 million hectares.

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Image: Twitter

 In 2021, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971 in Ramsar, Iran, which is celebrated annually as World Wetlands Day on  February 2. Ramsar sites are wetlands designated to be of global importance under the Ramsar Convention, also known as the International Convention on Wetlands.

The intergovernmental Ramsar treaty was established by UNESCO in 1971.

According to the release, CWCM will support partnership and networks with national and international agencies that work on wetlands. 

It will allegedly also act as a knowledge hub and facilitate exchanges between States and Union Territory Wetland authorities, users, managers, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners.

The Centre will also help national and State/UT governments plan, monitor, design and implement policy and regulations, as well as carry out targeted research for effective conservation strategies.

 Along with this ,Supriyo also released a publication about the diversity of fauna in India’s Ramsar sites.

Also read: Ramsar sites in Odisha, holding international importance

Significance

World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on February 2 also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Convention on Wetlands signed on February 2, 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar. The theme for 2021 is Wetlands and Water and it was first celebrated in 1997.

  • The Centre would address specific research needs and knowledge gaps and will aid in the application of integrated approaches for conservation, management and wise use of the wetlands.
  • It will help in building partnerships and networks with relevant national and international agencies.
  • It would serve as a knowledge hub and enable exchange between State or UT Wetland Authorities, wetland users, managers, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners.
  • It would also assist the national and State or UT Governments in the design and implementation of policy and regulatory frameworks, management planning, monitoring and targeted research for wetlands conservation.

By Nilofar Naaz

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