Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection

Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection

Commissioned by Lead Executing Agency
German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV)
This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). BMUV supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC)
Lead Implementing Agency Duration
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH September 2018-August 2025


Wetlands are ecosystems located at the interface of land and water. We see them in various forms such as, marshes, lagoons, estuaries, mangroves, peatlands, ponds, lakes, reservoirs, floodplains and deltas. As highly productive ecosystems, wetlands are vital parts of the water cycle and support rich biological diversity.

There are over 750,000 wetlands in India which are spread over 15.98 Mha (National Wetlands Decadal Change Atlas 2021). Distributed across ten bio-geographic zones – from the Trans-Himalayas to the Indian Islands – these wetlands exhibit an enormous diversity and support a variety of ecosystem services: freshwater provision, food, fibre and fuels, groundwater recharge and purification, pollution abatement, flood mitigation, erosion control and carbon sequestration. They also provide cultural and recreational benefits. Wetlands directly and indirectly support the livelihoods of millions of Indians. In India, 75 wetlands of international importance have been designated under the Ramsar Convention.

Many wetlands are threatened by reclamation and degradation through drainage and landfill, pollution, hydrological alteration, over-exploitation and climate change resulting in loss of biodiversity and disruption in ecosystem benefits to the society. Wetlands in India form an integral component of biodiversity conservation, water and food security and climate protection.



The main objective of the project is to strengthen the institutional framework and capacities for an ecosystem-based integrated management of wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites) in India.



The Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection project is implemented in close cooperation with the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (NPCA) of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

Four main output areas define the implementation approach of the project:

  • Integrated management planning for priority Ramsar Sites based on biodiversity, ecosystem services and climate change risks.
  • Capacity development of national, state and site level stakeholders for integrated wetland management.
  • Development of a wetland monitoring system, including an instrument to track management effectiveness.
  • Demonstrating approaches for community engagement and ecosystem-based sustainable livelihood and adaptation measures as well as Green Recovery Measures post COVID-19.

The project is being implemented in seven states: Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu in collaboration with State and Union Territory Wetland.


  • An Inventory, Assessment and Monitoring Framework for Indian Wetlands for wetland managers has been developed which lists prioritised parameters based on their relevance in management, feasibility, and practicality of assessment. This was released at a side-event hosted by the project during CMS COP13, Gujarat.
  • Illustrative factsheets on wetland values and benefits and threats to the wetland were prepared for the project Ramsar sites for communication and engagement with the local stakeholders. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), along with GIZ and other partners, produced a similar factsheets booklet for all the Ramsar sites of India; the first issue of which was released by MoEFCC during CMS COP13, 2020. Link to updated booklet

  • Site level assessments of hydro-ecology, livelihoods and climate vulnerability of the project sites have been conducted.
  • Training sessions and workshops for Ramsar site managers, managers of the four pilot locations and officials from State Wetland Authorities have been conducted.
  • A training film  has been developed capturing the annual waterbird census at Pong dam wetland, showcasing the step-by-step process of conducting this exercise and its contribution towards better management of the wetland.
  • Wetlands of India Portal was launched by the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Mr Bhupender Yadav on 2 October 2021, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
  • Supported site-specific and demand-driven activities like mangrove rehabilitation, sustainable fisheries, organic farming, handicrafts making using local Nalia grass, bird watching guide, eco-tourism, benefiting over 700 families as part of Green Recovery Measures under Corona Response Package.
  • A self-paced and interactive e-learning courses on wetland management has also been developed.
  • Contributed to designing and implementation of ‘Save Wetlands Campaign’, Amit Dharohar inititiave and the 75@75 targets in collaboration with the Wetlands Division, MoEF&CC.
  • 430 participants ranging from forest officials, site managers to community members have been trained various aspects of wetland management; Trainings are being rolled out with state training institutes for their institutionalisation.
  • Developed Guidance document on ‘Managing Climate Risks in Wetlands’ that was launched during World Wetlands Day 2023 by the MoEF&CC.
  • Documentation of ‘Cultural Significance of Indian Wetlands’ released by Hon’ble Minister of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change.
  • Developed a practitioners’ guide on ‘Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) for Indian Wetlands’ and piloted at project sites.
  • Project knowledge products on site assessments, handbooks and factsheets have been widely circulated and uploaded on the Wetlands of India Portal.



The project contributes particularly to the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) which aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all; SDG13 (Climate Action) which aims to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts; SDG 14 (Life Below Water) which focuses on the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development; SDG 15 (Life on Land) which aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.


For a detailed overview refer to the project brochure. All other publications of this project can be accessed via the Resources section on this website, by selecting the topic “Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection”.


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Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection



Cultural Significance of Indian Wetlands



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