ENVIS Centre, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Monday, June 17, 2024

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Loktak Wetland complex deliberated

Source: The Sangai Express / DIPR

Imphal, April 17 2023: Loktak Development Authority (LDA) Chairman M Asnikumar has shared that the State Government is working on a long-term plan to conserve and preserve the Loktak wetland complex.

He made the statement while delivering the inaugural address at a 'One-day Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on Loktak Lake' held today at the Conference Hall of IWT Building, Lake Front Garden, Sendra, Bishnupur district.

The consultative meeting was organised by LDA and Manipur Technology Innovation Hub in collaboration with University of Nottingham, UK.

The LDA Chairman went on to state that Loktak Lake is one of the main cradles of Manipuri civilization and one of the main sources of livelihood (direct and indirect) for a number of households since centuries.

"The ecological value of the Loktak wetland complex is truly vast; it plays a huge role in the overall ecological context.

Sadly, the lake is under serious threat from anthropogenic activities such as encroachment, pollution, and various unplanned developmental activities in and around the lake", he added.

Maintaining that the Government of Manipur is determined to make Loktak Lake an iconic wetland site in the global context, he added, "Under the visionary leadership of PM Narendra Modi and guidance of Chief Minister N Biren Singh, the Loktak Development Authority (LDA) is moving ahead with community participation, research, policies and conservation activities to fulfil the mandate of conservation and sustainable management of the lake" .

Notably, he informed that LDA has constituted an Expert Advisory Committee to address the issues related to the fast-changing ecological status and their impact on the socio-economic condition of the communities dependent on them and the report of the advisory committee is on course to be released soon.

He further mentioned that LDA has already drawn up an Integrated Management Plan (IMP) in consultation with WISA, and the same has been technically evaluated by IIT Roorkee.

In this regard, an approval from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, GoI has already been sought.

Regarding the same, a high level meeting chaired by the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change was held in New Delhi recently during which positive signs were given by the Ministry for a quick approval.

Asserting that the State Government under the supervision of the Chief Minister is also working on a long-term plan to conserve and preserve the Loktak wetland complex, he stated that it has already approached the Asian Development Bank with a Detailed Project Report to rejuvenate the ecology of the lake and improve the livelihood of those dependent on the lake for sustenance.

The LDA Chairman then highlighted the importance of such consultative meetings and extended his gratitude to the faculty members of Nottingham University, UK and Manipur Technology Innovation Hub, Imphal for initiating such a meaningful meeting for Loktak and sought their cooperation for such workshops in the future.

During the consultative meeting, Dr Virginia Panizzo, Associate Professor and National Geographic Explorer, University of Nottingham deliberated on "Lake and river ecosystem response to pollution and climate change impacts: Recent evidence from sites across South East Asia"; Ng Sanajaoba Meetei, SE/Wetland in-charge, LDA on "Threats and challenges in conservation and initiative of LDA in conservation of Loktak Lake"; K Jugeshwore Singh, Environmentalist and Honorary Wildlife Warden, Bishnupur on "Importance of waterbirds in the conservation of Loktak Lake"; Hamish Duncalf -Youngson, British Geological Survey on "Understanding human and climate change impact on Loktak Lake using lake sediments".

An interaction session of stakeholders was also conducted as part of the meeting.

The meeting was attended by Dr Rajiv Kangabam, Lead, Manipur Technology Innovation Hub, representatives from community based organisations of the Loktak Lake and catchment area, scientists of LDA and members of Manipur Technology Innovation Hub, Imphal.