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November Free Report

by Vincent Marezva | 01-12-2023 03:30 recommendations 0

Vanishing Wetlands: A Crisis Unfolding in India

The disappearance of wetlands in India has become a pressing concern, triggering alarm within conservation circles. Wetlands International (WI), a global non-profit organization based in the Netherlands, estimates that almost 40% of wetlands in the country have lost their natural existence over the last 30 years. Disturbingly, 40% of water bodies have also deteriorated, jeopardizing the survival of aquatic animals. Prominent examples, like Najafgarh lake near Delhi and Pallikaranai in Chennai, have shrunk by over 50%, primarily due to rampant infrastructural development, housing expansion, and unregulated water exploitation.

India is home to approximately 2.2 lakh big wetlands covering over 2.2 hectares and 5.5 lakh smaller ones. While nearly 60,000 large wetlands are within protected forest areas, offering a semblance of safety, only 150 to 200 water bodies have undergone conservation efforts. Priority has been given to star wetlands like Dal Lake in Srinagar and Harike wetland in Punjab.

Ritesh Kumar, South Asia head of WI, emphasizes that the loss and degradation of wetlands should not be viewed as an esoteric issue but as a development crisis. He points to the 2015 Chennai floods as a stark example, where the degradation of wetlands due to unplanned development compromised the city's resilience, leading to the temporary shutdown of the auto industry for 10 days and a subsequent loss of Rs 10,000 crore affecting the stock market.

In addition to urbanization, a lack of knowledge about wetlands and their ecosystems contributes to their widespread loss. Experts stress the importance of awareness and community mobilization, urging competent agencies to reclaim abused wetlands while making the public aware of their significance.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has taken a step in this direction by notifying wetlands (conservation and management) rules in 2017 under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, providing a regulatory framework for the conservation and management of wetlands in India. The report underscores the urgency of addressing the crisis through legal measures, public awareness, and collective efforts to safeguard these invaluable ecosystems.



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SangHyeon Park

  • SangHyeon Park says :
    Hello, this is your mentor SH. I saw that Indian wetlands face alarming degradation, with nearly 40% lost in 30 years. Urgent legal measures and public awareness are crucial for conservation efforts. Thank you for this great article.
    Posted 02-12-2023 16:43

Melissa Menlah Adu

  • Melissa Menlah Adu says :
    Vanishing wetlands in India demand our immediate attention. As urbanization and development encroach upon these vital ecosystems, the repercussions extend beyond environmental concerns. The loss of wetlands poses a threat to aquatic life, triggers developmental crises, and even impacts industries, as seen in the aftermath of the 2015 Chennai floods. Urgent action, legal measures, and public awareness are imperative to preserve these invaluable ecosystems. 🌾🌏 #WetlandsConservation #EnvironmentalCrisis
    Thanks for the report 👍
    Posted 02-12-2023 11:13

Seeun Mentor

  • Seeun Mentor says :
    Hello, this is mentor Seeun.
    Wetlands are home to hundreds, even thousands of different species and it is vital to preserve them.
    Thank you for your report!
    Posted 01-12-2023 15:35

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