Save Wetlands Campaign


    In News

    • The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched the ‘Save Wetlands Campaign’ in Goa.


    • The Save Wetlands Campaign aims to enable  affirmative actions for wetlands conservation by taking a “whole of society” approach. 
    • Activities involved:  
      • sensitizing people of the value of wetlands
      • increasing the coverage of wetland mitras 
      • building citizen partnerships for wetlands conservation.
    • World Wetlands Day:
      • It is observed on 2nd February every year 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
      • The 2023 theme for World Wetlands Day is ‘Wetland Restoration’  which highlights the urgent need to prioritize wetland restoration

    What are Wetlands? 

    • Wetlands are areas where water is the primary factor controlling the environment and the associated plant and animal life. They occur where the water table is at or near the surface of the land, or where the land is covered by water. 
    • According to Ramsar Convention wetlands are defined as:“areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres”.
    • Importance
      • Sequester Carbon: Wetlands are part of global cycles for water, nitrogen and sulphur. Wetlands store carbon within their plant communities and soil instead of releasing it to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
      • Fighting Against Climate Change: Wetlands also help reduce the risk of disasters such as floods, by acting as buffers.
      • Paradise for Migratory Birds: Millions of migratory birds flock to wetlands
      • Cultural and Tourism Importance:Wetlands also have a deep connection with Indian culture and traditions.
    • Global Initiatives
      • Ramsar Convention: The convention aims at conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation. It came into force in 1975.
      • Montreux Record: It is a register of Ramsar wetland sites where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference.
      • World Wetlands Day: It is celebrated every year on the 2nd of February across the globe.
    • Indian Initiatives
      • Statutory Protection: In India, the wetlands are regulated under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017. The 2010 Rules provided for a Central Wetland Regulatory Authority, but new Rules of 2017 replaced it with state-level bodies and created a National Wetland Committee, which functions in an advisory role.
      • Action Plan of MoEFCC: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) supports the implementation of management action plans for over 250 wetlands under schemes such as National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems, Mangroves and Coral Reefs, and Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats.
    • Ramsar sites in india
      • India has added 11 more wetlands to the list of Ramsar sites to make a total of 75 Ramsar sites covering an area of 13,26,677 ha in the country in the 75th year of Independence.  
      • Tamil Nadu has the maximum number of Ramsar sites (14 nos), followed by UP which has 10 nos. of Ramsar sites.

    Some of the newly added sites are given below

    Tampara Lake:

    • Tampara Lake is among the most prominent freshwater lakes in the State  of Odisha 
    • It is situated on the right bank of the Rushikulya River,
    • Its connection with the Rushikulya river helps in flood control during the monsoon season. 

    Hirakud Reservoir:

    • Hirakud Reservoir, the largest earthen dam in Odisha started operating in 1957. The reservoir to support a range of floral and faunal species, The wetland also provides important hydrological services by moderating floods in the Mahanadi delta,

    Ansupa Lake :

    • Ansupa Lake is the largest freshwater lake of Odisha
    •  The wetland is an oxbow lake formed by River Mahanadi 

    Yashwant Sagar:

    • Yashwant Sagar is one of the two Important Bird Areas (IBA) in the Indore and Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh.  
    • Yashwant Sagar is a stronghold of the vulnerable Sarus Crane in central India. 
    • Due to its vast shallow reed beds, the wetland is considered heaven to a large number of winter migratory birds.

    Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary:

    • Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary is located in Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu. The wetland is a protected area since 1989 and declared as Bird Sanctuary,

    Suchindram Theroor Wetland Complex:

    • It is declared an Important Bird Area and lies at the southern tip of the Central Asian flyway of migratory birds. 
    •  It was formed for birds’ nesting purposes and it attracts thousands of birds every year

     Vaduvur Bird Sanctuary:

    • Vaduvur bird sanctuary, is a large human-made irrigation tank and shelter for migratory birds. 
    • Indian Pond Heron is common in the sanctuary

    Thane Creek:

    • an inlet in a shoreline is called a creek.Thane Creek is located in Mumbai,Maharashtra, India.
    •  It has several sources of fresh water, of which Ulhas River is the largest.
    • Thane creek is fringed by mangroves on both banks & comprises around 20% of the total Indian mangrove species.
    • It is also famous for flamingos

    Hygam Wetland Conservation Reserve:

    • Hygam Wetland falls within the River Jhelum basin and plays a significant role as a flood absorption basin
    • . The wetland is located in the Baramulla district. It serves as an abode to many resident  and migratory bird species. 

    Source: PIB