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Workshop deliberates on wetland management

 Workshop deliberates on wetland management

Source: The Sangai Express / PIB

Imphal, April 29 2023: The Ministry of Environ-ment, Forest and Climate Change organised a regional consultative workshop for the restoration and integrated management of wetlands for the North Eastern States here at Hotel Classic Grande.

The consultative workshop will continue till tomorrow.

The workshop is fourth in the series of regional workshops (previously held in Srinagar, Goa, and Kochi) under Mission Sahbhagita.

The Sahbhagita mission aims to conserve and effectively manage a network of 75 wetlands of National and international importance in the country with an all-inclusive 'whole of society' and 'whole of Government' approach.

During the workshop, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav interacted with the site managers and the State Wetland Authorities (SWAs) of the North-eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizo-ram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura, to understand the priorities and challenges of wetlands conservation at their respective States/sites.

The Union Minister emphasised that wise use of wetlands aligned with its natural ecology is critical for survival of these ecosystems.

                  Workshop deliberates on wetland management

Highlighting the importance of multi-stakeholder approach, Yadav said "different agencies should come together and collaborate for wetlands conservation" .

Yadav stated, "wetlands often get neglected as public goods.

The entire society needs to come together to protect these ecosystems" .

He also emphasised that change in personal behaviour is the most important aspect "if we have to conserve the wetlands" .

Mission LiFE is critical for nudging people for conserving wetlands.

Yadav mentioned that the conservation of wetlands cannot be the Government's responsibility alone.

Wet-lands are essentially societal assets, with Governments acting as a trustee of these assets on behalf of the citizens of India.

Unless the entire society participates and partners in wetlands conservation, tangible chan-ge cannot be achieved, he added.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh, addressing the workshop, expressed his pleasure that all North-eastern States were represented at the workshop, and made tangible discussions for conservation of wetlands heritage.

He underlined the need for proactive actions for removing Loktak from Montreux Record.

PHED Minister L Susindro Meitei, Forest, Environment and Climate Change Minister Th Biswajit Singh, LDA Chairman M Asnikumar Singh and MH Khan, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Forests, Environment and Climate Change were present at the workshop.

Dr AK Joshi, PCCF and HOFF and Dr Sujit Kumar Bajpayee, Joint Secretary, MoEFCC conducted the daylong deliberations, having detailed interactions with States for effective implementation of wetlands programme.

The Union Minister also released the publication 'Cultural Significance of Indian Wetlands'.

The publication showcases the cultural values of wetlands and provides examples of traditional knowledge, local beliefs, festivals, community practices and folktales related to wetlands.

In the first half of the workshop, the States presented an overview of wetlands conservation in their States, successes and challenges.

The presentations reflected on wetlands delineation, inventorization, preparation of brief documents, management plan formulation and communication and outreach actions.

Anoop Kumar V from Sanatan Dharma College, Kerala, gave a detailed presentation on developing eco-friendly value added products using water hyacinth by employing the underprivileged communities as workforce.

In the second half, three plenary discussions were held.

The first discussion focussed on Amrit Dharohar and integration in Mission LiFE.

The second discussion on 'Operationalising the Save Wetlands Campaign' focussed on the key objectives and targets of the Save Wetland Campaign.

The third discussion on 'Integrated Management Planning' focused on the challenges in preparation and implementation of Integrated Management Plans.

On the second day of the workshop on 30th April 2023, Yadav will visit Loktak Lake along with the workshop participants.