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World wetlands day observed at Loktak Lake

 Source: Imphal Free Press

 

World wetlands day observed at Loktak Lake

World wetlands day observed at Loktak Lake

IMPHAL | Feb 2 : World wetlands day was also observed today at the biggest wetland of the state, Loktak Lake under the theme “Wetlands for a sustainable future”.

The event was attended by forest minister Th.Shyamkumar, as chief guest and local MLA of Thanga, T.Robindro Singh, chairman of MPSB, L. Radhakishore and MLA of Mayang Imphal, K.Robindro as president and guests of honour of the function.

The function was organised by Loktak Development Authority in collaboration with Morning Star Association Thanga Khunjem Leikai at Thanga Khunjem Ground, Bishnupur district.

The chief guest accounted that Loktak is known for its beauty even outside the state and us blessed with beautiful flora and fauna.

He advised the locals of the area that it is their property and to take proper care of it. He said it is the responsibility of the locals to take proper care and preserve the lake for its originality.

Even if Loktak Development Authority tries hard to keep the preserve the lake, if the locals does not cooperate it will be a useless effort, he said.

Shyamkumar also appealed the locals not to use LED lights for fishing and other unfriendly things to scare migratory birds from coming to the lake. The ecology of nature is interdependent on each other so it is necessary to save the lake from losing its nature inhabitants too, he added.

T. Robindro giving presidential address urged his people that the long and rich legacy of Thanga which revolves around the lake should be carried on. He also acknowledged how the lake is important for the area, drinking water to daily food to livelihood and how lifestyle itself revolves around the lake.

Assistant professor of Moirang College, L. Sony Meitei and environmentalist L. Jugeshwor attended the function as presidium members. They both highlighted how world wetlands day started and how it is important for the state to preserve the wetlands of the state, besides Loktak.

As part of the function painting competition was held at the venue and participated by 96 students. The five winners were given prizes by the dignitaries.

Meanwhile, as part of World Wetlands Day 2018 observance under the theme ‘Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future’, a discussion programme was convened today at state information centre, Palace compound, Imphal.

The observation was jointly organised by department of environment, government of Manipur and Editors’ Guild, Manipur, to spread awareness to the general public about the importance of preserving wetlands in urban areas. The Day is 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 chief guest, Meghachandra Kongbam, director, information and public relations, said the theme is very suitable in view of today’s context. Putting stress on the role of media he said the media persons have a big role in spreading awareness to the general public in preserving wetlands in the urban areas. Maximum number of the population lives in the cities and by 2050, it will increase to 66 per cent leading to development in urban areas thereby decreasing the wetland areas. Citing the reports of severe air pollution in Delhi, he said the same can also happen in Manipur.

Wetlands were preserved when Manipur was a princely state as there was awareness about 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 preserving wetlands.  He also said that media persons need to carry out more research in this area and write articles, editorials to spread awareness among the people. Media can also give their suggestions to the government on steps to be taken up to preserve wetlands, he added.

Professor W. Vishwanath of life sciences department, Manipur University speaking as a resource person said only a small percent of the freshwater is used for human consumption.  This small percentage of freshwater is becoming a valuable commodity. Stating that wetlands are a huge reservoir for biodiversity, Professor W. Vishwanath said that urbanisation is leading to decrease in wetland areas due to rapid urbanisation. If the wetlands are preserved it can control air pollution, flood and can promote tourism apart from saving the environment.

He further said preserving wetlands should also be part of school curriculum to make the younger generation aware of the importance of wetlands. Wetlands can promote eco-tourism by setting up recreation spots, organising water bodies sport such as angling. He appealed to the media persons to spread awareness to the general public on the importance of preserving wetlands as freshwater is becoming an important commodity. Media persons from the state, officials of environment department and members of Editors’ Guild Manipur took part in the discussion programme.