12 Dec, 2023
Integrated management of cross-sectoral ecosystems such as wetlands necessitates a collaborative approach involving stakeholders at all levels. Implementing the Ramsar Convention’s framework for the wise use of wetlands therefore depends on integrated approach to management.
In India, the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules of 2017 and the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (NPCA) underscore this approach. The NPCA Guidelines provide a detailed blueprint for creating an Integrated Management Plan (IMP), which is crucial for conservation efforts.
Enriched with over 4,410 wetlands, Bihar's diverse aquatic ecosystems in the Indo-Gangetic Plains, featuring the Ganga and its tributaries, are vital for both biodiversity and socio-economic welfare. Comprehensive management plans are essential for preserving these ecosystems and ensuring community well-being.
To this end, a two-day workshop held in Patna on December 12 and 13, 2023, aimed to visit the IMP strategy for prioritised sites as part of Bihar's wetland conservation efforts. The workshop, jointly organised by the Department of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change and the BMUV-IKI Wetland Management Project implemented by GIZ India, aimed to lay the foundation for a comprehensive wetland management strategy.
The diverse participation including government officials, academics, local community representatives, and civil society groups ensured a cross-sectoral dialogue and reflected a sense of ownership in the decision making for resource management.
The workshop aimed to share knowledge on wetland management, drawing insights from experiences at the Kabartal Ramsar Site and Gokul Jalashay. Notably, it included local panchayat members, fisherfolk, farmers, and stakeholders from Samastipur Samastipur, contributing grassroots perspectives on wetland use and conservation.
A field trip to Debkhal Chaur enriched discussions on wetland hydrology, biodiversity, and community livelihood with local community members. This inclusive and cross-sectoral dialogue emphasised the importance of sustainable ecosystem management, setting the groundwork for collaborative conservation efforts across the wetlands in Bihar.
2-Day Participatory Workshop on IMP Strategy for Wetlands in Bihar © GIZ India
Field Visit and Local Stakeholder Consultation at Debkhal Chaur, Samastipur © GIZ
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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