Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched the “Save Wetlands Campaign” in the presence of the chief minister of Goa.
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.
This campaign over the next year will include sensitising people on the value of wetlands, increasing the coverage of wetland mitras and building citizen partnerships for wetlands conservation.
As per the press release issued by the PIB, two publications were also released on 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 face and management arrangements.
The guide on climate risk assessment provides step-wise guidance on assessing the site-level climate risks and the integration of adaptation and mitigation responses into the wetland management plan.
Minister 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 ecological, economic and climate security.
He also mentioned 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 about the last 9 years under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which the country has not only developed economically but also with ecological balance.
The minister also emphasised the importance of strengthening communication, education, awareness and participation to conserve the wetlands.
Yadav also said that PM Narendra Modi in his Mann ki Baat of January 29, 2023, highlighted the invaluable role played by local communities in the conservation of Ramsar Sites.
The national celebrations of World Wetlands Day, which concluded on Saturday, saw the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, the CM of Goa, dignitaries from the 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 Sawant congratulated the Government of India for the achievement of 75 Ramsar Sites in the 75th year of independence and for realising the dream of the PM.
He also thanked the Government of India for supporting the state in the designation of Nanda Lake as a Ramsar site.
He gave thanks for giving Goa the opportunity to organise the event as well. He gave the assurance that Goa will 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 Sahbhagita Mission, based on the advisory issued by the ministry, state governments and UT administrations celebrated World Wetlands Day enthusiastically at all 75 Ramsar Sites this year.
Over 200 events, such as the hoisting of the flag at the Ramsar Sites and organising over 50 activities with student engagement in drawing and quiz competitions, exposure activities and bird watching were organised. 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.