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| Last Updated:18/12/2020

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World Wetlands Day observed: EGM takes part in drive to spread awareness

 Source: The Sangai Express / DIPR

Imphal, February 02 2018: As a part of World Wetlands Day 2018 observance under the theme 'Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future', a discussion programme was convened at State Information Centre, Palace Compound, today.

The observation was jointly organised by Department of Environment, Manipur and Editors' Guild, Manipur, to spread awareness about the importance of preserving wetlands in urban areas.

The World Wetlands Day has been observed every year on February 2, since the adoption of Ramsar Convention in 1971 to help raise public awareness about the importance and value of wetlands.

Speaking as the chief guest, Meghachandra Kongbam, Director of Directorate of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) said that the theme is very suitable in view of today's context.

He said that media persons play a big role in spreading awareness to the public regarding preservation of wetlands in the urban areas.

Maximum number of the population live in the cities and by the year 2050, it will increase to around 66 per cent thus leading to rapid development in urban areas and rapid decrease in the wetland areas.

Citing the reports of severe air pollution in Delhi, he said the same problem can also happen in Manipur.

Wetlands were preserved and protected when Manipur was a princely State, as there was widespread awareness regarding the importance of wetlands in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Recognising the importance of wetlands, the Government has allocated 442.24 acres of land in Lamphel area as part of the attempt to preserve the wetlands, he claimed.

He also said that media persons need to carry out more research in this area and write articles and editorials to spread awareness among the people.

Media persons can also give their suggestions to the Government regarding steps to be taken up to preserve wetlands, he added.

Speaking as a resource person, Professor W Vishwanath of Life Sciences Department, Manipur University, said that only a small percent of the freshwater is used for human consumption.

This small percentage of freshwater is becoming a valuable commodity, he added.

Stating that wetlands are a huge reservoir for biodiversity, Professor W Vishwanath said that urbanization is leading to rapid decrease in wetland areas.

If the wetlands are preserved it can control air pollution, flood and can also promote tourism apart from saving the environment, he added.

He further said that preserving wetlands should also be a part of school curriculum so as to make the younger generation aware of its importance.

Wetlands can promote eco-tourism by setting up recreation spots, organising water sports such as angling.

He further appealed to the media persons to spread awareness to the general public on the importance of preserving wetlands as freshwater is becoming a rare commodity day by day.

Many media persons of the State, officials of Environment Department and members of Editors' Guild Manipur, took part in the discussion programme.