Inception and Operational Planning Workshop for Wetlands Project

11 Apr, 2019

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in partnership with GIZ, has initiated a Technical Cooperation project titled ‘Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection’ (Wetlands Project). For this purpose, a one-and-half day project inception and operational planning workshop with the national and state partners was organised on 10-11 April 2019 in New Delhi. The objectives of the workshop were:

  • establishing common and shared understanding on the project
  • preparing project operational plan and first year activity plan

The keynote address was delivered by Mr Anil Kumar Jain, Additional Secretary, MoEFCC. He remarked that while technical cooperation projects are small in terms of funding, they bring value in terms of focused attention, expertise, technology, know-how and capacity building. He mentioned that the wise-use approach of Ramsar recognises the interaction between people and wetlands. The idea is not to exclude people, but to make economic activities like tourism attractive while at the same time preserving the wetlands. Mr Jain urged the project to establish participatory institutional and managerial set up at the project sites involving local people and leadership as the people living around the wetlands are important elements of the ecosystem.

An overview of the status, interventions and management challenges for the selected Ramsar sites was presented by the representatives of the respective state governments. This was followed by group work to review and refine the project work packages, prepare an overall operational plan for the project duration and the annual activity plan for 2019-20.

In general, the workshop received positive feedback from the participants. Mrs. Manju Pandey, Joint Secretary, MoEFCC expressed satisfaction with the workshop results and hoped that by end of the project term the four Ramsar sites would have their integrated management plans and trained site managers in place for implementing the plans. She also urged the project to keep focus on institutionalising the project results.

The project is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) under the International Climate Initiative. The long-term goal of the project is to secure and enhance wetland biodiversity and ecosystem services offering nature-based solutions for climate change using integrated management approaches for wetlands. Four Ramsar sites – two in the Himalayas (Pong and Renuka in Himachal Pradesh) and two on the east-coast (Bhitarkania in Odisha and Point Calimere in Tamil Nadu) have been selected for the project. In addition, the Wetland Research and Training Centre, Chilika Development Authority has been identified as a resource centre for the project. The project would be implemented at these sites in partnership with the respective State Wetlands Authorities and site level management institutions. Wetlands International South Asia (WISA) will be a technical partner in project implementation.