Commemorating India’s Commitment to Wetlands: World Wetlands Day 2023

04 Feb, 2023

The World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on the 2nd of February 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. As part of the nationwide celebrations, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change organised a three-day event along with Goa State Wetland Authority (SWA). The event saw participation from various SWAs, Ramsar Site Managers and Knowledge Partners, including GIZ India, represented by the IKI-BMUV ‘Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection’ project.

On Day 1, Goa State Wetland Authority met with and felicitated the local Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) members for their efforts in wetland management. A fact board was also unveiled at Bondvol Lake. Similar celebrations, consultations and meetings were held across the country at different Ramsar Sites. On Day 2, a Regional Consultative Workshop for Restoration and Integrated Management of Wetlands, was held along with Knowledge Partners and SWAs and Site Managers from seven states/UTs. Herein, three roundtable discussions on ‘Mainstreaming the LiFE Concept in Wetlands Conservation’, ‘Restoration and Integrated management of Wetlands’, and ‘Youth engagement and outreach in the Restoration and Integrated Management of Wetlands’ were held. The third roundtable on youth engagement was chaired by Mr Ravindra Singh, Director, Indo-German Biodiversity Programme. A few key actions suggested during the roundtable included taking up LiFE based actions at individual and community levels, notifying the wetlands located outside protected areas, and conducting a CEPA campaign on wetland management engaging the youth of the country.

Dignitaries Taking Wetland pledge at Curchorem © Goa Wetland Authority

On Day 3, ‘Save Wetlands Campaign’ was launched by Shri Bhupender Yadav, Hon’ble Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India in Curchorem, Goa. The aim of this campaign is to create mass awareness about the importance of wetland conservation and management while actively involving local communities, youth and women in the integrated management and monitoring of wetlands across the country. A project publication titled, ‘Managing Climate Risks in Wetlands: A Practitioner’s Guide’ was also launched by the Hon’ble Minister to provide a stepwise guidance on assessing site-level climate risks and integration of adaptation and mitigation responses into the wetland management plan.

Inauguration of fact board at Bondvol Lake ©Suddhabrata/GIZ

Roundtable discussion on youth engagement in the regional workshop © Goa State Wetland Authority

Release of project publication 'Managing Climate Risks in Wetlands: A Practitioner's Guide’ by dignitaries.
In frame (L-R): Shri Nilesh Cabral, Hon’ble Environment and Climate Change Minister of Goa; Shri Pramod Sawant, Hon’ble CM of Goa, Shri Bhupender Yadav, Hon’ble Union Minister of Environment Forest, and Climate Change; and Shri. Subhash Shirodkar, Hon’ble Minister of Water of Resources, Goa © Suddhabrata/GIZ

About the project

The Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection project aims to strengthen the institutional framework and capacities for an ecosystem-based integrated management of wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites) in India. Four Ramsar sites have been selected as pilot sites under the project: Pong Dam and Renuka Lake in Himachal Pradesh, Bhitarkanika Mangroves in Odisha, and the Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. The project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in close cooperation with the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (NPCA). This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag. Read More

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