Positive move. Critical for the future of the wetlands in this country. Surprising that something which affects millions of people in India in terms of water source, lively hood and immediate environment get noticed only now (forget the other forms of life and the importance of ecological balance, thats last on the list anyways). I guess our policymakers have spent much more time on the extent of nudity to be allowed in the pubic and what constitutes "unparliamentary language".
Hope it will also result in some positive action instead of a lot of drafting, redrafting, discussion, steering committees, boards, task force etc and zero implementation / ground management. The biggest challenge i guess would be in getting the support of those very “millions of people” who form the immediate environment of these wetlands
The Union government on Thursday notified rules for conservation and management of wetlands that restrict harmful activities such as
construction, dumping of untreated waste, and industrialisation, to prevent
damage to these sensitive ecosystems with high biodiversity values.
> The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010, are aimed at
ensuring better conservation and preventing degradation of wetlands.
> Over one-third of the country's wetlands had been wiped out or badly
> Under the rules, wetlands have been classified for better management and
easier identification. Wetland regulatory authorities and appraisal
committees were set up at the central, State and district levels to ensure
proper implementation of the rules.
> Apart from necessary government representatives, each of these bodies has
> The rules specify activities that are harmful to wetlands and prohibit
them. Other activities such as harvesting and dredging could be carried out
with prior permission from the authorities concerned.
> Describing the move as a positive step, Union Minister of State for
Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said: "This is the first time that
legally enforceable rules are being notified for such eco-sensitive areas in
our country. This will go a long way in protecting our wetlands, which are
under severe threat."
> Wetlands are critical for human development and well-being, especially in
India, where a large number of people are dependant on them for drinking
water, food and livelihood.
> Despite their immense importance, wetlands are one of the most degraded
ecosystems globally. Over-exploitation of fish resources, discharge of
industrial effluents, fertilizers and pesticides and uncontrolled siltation
and weed infestation, among other reasons, have taken the toll on these
important water bodies.
> "We have also approached the ISRO [Indian Space Research Organisation] and
other institutions to undertake a comprehensive mapping exercise delineating
all the wetlands in the country," Mr. Ramesh said, adding that the legal
framework for the preservation and management of wetlands was in keeping
with the suggestions from the public.
> India is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention for the conservation and
wise use of wetlands, which includes in its ambit a wide variety of habitats
such as rivers and lakes, coastal lagoons, mangroves, coral reefs, and
numerous man-made wetlands like ponds, farm ponds, irrigated agricultural
lands, sacred groves, salt pans, reservoirs, gravels, pits, sewage, farms
> The Union government had identified 25 wetlands for conservation and
management under its conservation programme and provides financial and
technical assistance to the State governments and Union Territory
administrations for this purpose.