New Delhi: Wetlands International South Asia, a non-government organisation has set the target of expanding its research to various parts of South Asia, focusing on deltas, coastlines, and urban wetlands, as the organisation completed its 25 years on Tuesday.
Since its inception in 1996, Wetlands International South Asia has been working for sustaining and restoring wetlands, their resources and biodiversity in the South Asia region.
The non-government organization is a part of Wetlands International network, which has over 20 offices across the globe and
has a presence in more than 100 countries.
Talking about the importance of the wetlands, Dr. Sidharth Kaul, President of WISA, said “Wetlands and ubiquitous ecosystems are critical for humans and the Planet. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of the existing dangers that these wetlands face, not just in India but across the world.
“Wetlands are a unique, important water source and offer a thriving ground for humans, plants and animals. Local ecosystems depend largely on these wetlands, which are now facing unprecedented threats and risks. Wetlands International South Asia has been working in the field of wetland conservation for 25 years now, and we are so happy to announce our silver jubilee celebrations” he added.
Climate change has resulted in major catastrophes worldwide like floods and droughts which in turn is affecting the lives of the people. This in turn has amplified the need for awareness about conservation of nature and wetlands in particular.
Wetlands are fragile aquatic ecosystems covered with water, either permanently or seasonally. They are a vital part of the hydrological cycle, highly productive and support rich biodiversity.
Wetlands provide a wide range of important resources and ecosystem services, such as food, water, fiber, groundwater
recharge, water purification, flood moderation, erosion control and climate regulation.
They are severely threatened due to anthropogenic activities like reclamation through drainage and landfill, discharge of domestic and industrial effluents and solid wastes, changes in water inflow and outflow patterns, excessive water withdrawal and over-exploitation of their natural resources.
“Wetlands International South Asia is focussing on the involvement of youths and their active participation in the conservation of wetlands. As the organisation completes 25 years it aims at bringing a behavioural change in the young generation about the way they see and perceive wetlands” the organisation said in a statement.
“We held a number of online contests for youth and School children, and we hope to get more people involved through our programmes. We also organised webinars and discussions featuring prominent wetland practitioners and conservationists, besides involving policy makers. The Silver Jubilee celebrations are an effort to shed spotlight on the immense value of these ecosystems,” Dr. Ritesh Kumar, Director of Wetlands International South Asia
To commemorate the day, the organization is also planning to celebrate the achievement at India Habitat Centre on September 29, where Minister of State for External Affairs and Education Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh will attend the occasion.