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 2023


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 152,600 km2 (National Wetlands Atlas 2011). 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 3-4 pilot 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.
  • Implementation of ecosystem-based sustainable livelihood measures (green recovery post COVID-19)

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. Chilika Development Authority has been identified as a resource centre for wetlands management.


  • 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.
  • Under Corona Response Package: Livelihood-creating restoration measures for wetland ecosystems as well as the training of community members in alternative, sustainable livelihoods are taking place in Odisha (Bhitarkanika Mangroves) and Tamil Nadu (Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary).
  • Development of self-paced and interactive learning courses on integrated wetlands management is ongoing.



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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Managing Climate Risks in Wetlands: A Practitioner’s Guide



Climate Risk Assessment of Pong Dam Lake, Himachal Pradesh



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