India sets up its first centre for wetland conservation in Chennai

The ‘Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management’ will assist in the regulatory framework and policy, monitoring, management planning as well as the targeted research for the conservation of the wetlands in India.

Created On: Feb 4, 2021 13:44 ISTModified On: Feb 4, 2021 13:44 IST
Wetland conservation centre in India

On the occasion of Wetland Conservation Day on February 2, 2021, India established its first centre for wetland conservation in Chennai. The wetlands occupy around 4.6% of the country’s landmass.

The specialized institution known as ‘Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management’ is part of the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management- NCSCM, which comes under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Currently, India has 42 sites that are designated as the wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. These wetlands cover a surface area of 1.08 million hectares.

Objective of Wetland Conservation Centre:

The centre will assist the national and state governments in the design and the implementation of the regulatory framework and policy, monitoring, management planning as well as the targeted research for the conservation of the wetlands in India.

It will be a knowledge hub for the wetland researchers, managers, policymakers, and users. The dedicated centre will also address the knowledge gaps and specific research needs. It will aid in the application of integrated approaches for the management, conservation, and wise use of the wetlands.

Ramsar Sites in India:

This year commemorates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the convention on wetlands in Ramsar, Iran on February 2, 1971.

India has 42 Ramsar sites that are recognized as the wetlands of international significance. These sites are named after the city in Iran. The international treaty signed at a convention was for the conservation and the sustainable use of wetlands in India.

The new centre in Chennai will also help in building with the relevant international and national agencies for the management and conservation of wetlands.

Wetlands in India:

Wetlands are one of the most significant freshwater sources as they also provide various ecological services. It is a distinct ecosystem which is flooded with water, either seasonally or permanently, where the oxygen-free processes prevail.

India is extremely prosperous in terms of wetland diversity. It is also one of the few countries in the world to have a wetland inventory system, where remote sensing techniques have been used for the mapping of the wetlands

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