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World Wetlands Day observed at Sendra

 Source: IT News

Imphal, February 03 2019: The World Wetlands Day 2019 was observed yesterday at the state-level on the theme 'Wetlands and Climate Change' at Sendra, Bishnupur district jointly organised by the Loktak Development Authority (LDA) and Loktak Lake Tourism Development Co-operative Society Limited. World Wetlands Day is observed on 2nd February of each year to mark the date of adoption of Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1971.The Convention is the only multilateral environmental agreement to date for conservation and wise usage of wetlands. The World Wetland Day is being organized to raise awareness on the values wetlands have for nature and society. Each year, the World Wetlands Day is attached to a specific theme. Addressing the gathering as the chief guest of the state-level function, Forest and Environment Minister Shri Thounaojam Shyamkumar said that the conservation of environment is vital for the survival of the human beings. Adding that water is necessary for sustaining life and wetlands are the life support systems that ensure functioning of water cycle, he said the wetlands have special attributes as cultural heritage of humanity and have deep connections with our beliefs and practices.
They are indeed an important part of our natural wealth and assets, he added. Taking example of the environmental degradation, he said the pollution of the Loktak Lake, known as the mirror of the Manipur, is not a sign of development. Speaking on the importance of the Loktak Lake which is the largest fresh water lake in the North East India, he said the lake including other wetlands moderate the climate of the State. He said that active public participation is necessary to save the Loktak Lake. Speaking on the decrease in the production/cultivation of the yongchak (parkia speciosa) in the State, he opined that the decreasing number of population of the bats could be a reason behind the less production of the popular yongchak. He said the rampant hunting of birds in the State has direct impact in the environment. Opining that we should plant trees for every occasion for the improvement of the environment, he said that the existence of wildlife is also equally important that is why hunting of animals and birds should be stopped. He said in the present world, a nation is known as a developed one if it conserves and protects the environment and the wildlife. Shri K.Jugeshwor Singh, Principal, Kumbi College and Dr S.Shyamjai Singh, Scientific Officer, LDA spoke in length about the observation of the day, importance of the wetlands, scope of wetlands tourism and link between the wetlands and the environment. Stating that the forest is the lungs of the earth and the wetlands are the kidneys, Dr Shyamjai said that wetlands occupy 6 percent of the total earth's land surface and 12 percent of it acts as a carbon sink. He said that wetlands are vital for our water and food security and it help stabilize water supplies, cleanse polluted waters, protect shorelines and recharge groundwater aquifers. He said that wetlands play an important role in reducing the impact of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and cyclones and it act as a natural sponge, absorbing and storing excess rainfall and reducing flooding. During the dry season, they release the water stored, delaying the onset of droughts and reducing water shortages, he added. As part of the function a spot painting competition was held among 109 students of various schools at the Loktak Inland Transport complex. The winners were given certificates along with cash reward of Rs 3,000, Rs 2,000, Rs 1,000 as first, second and third prize respectively. Two students received Rs 500 each as a consolation prize and certificates. Shri K.Robindro Singh, Deputy Speaker, Dr Radheshyam Yumnam, Chairman MANITON/MANIDCO , Shri Suhel Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary (Forest and Environment), Shri L.Bhagaton Singh, Project Director, LDA, students and teachers of various schools of the area, among others attended the function.