India’s first Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management to be opened in Chennai.

3 February 2021

Introduction:

The Union government has announced to establish India’s first Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM) on the occasion of World Wetland Day in Chennai.

Highlights:

  • This Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management will be set in a bid to address the knowledge gaps and specific research needs for the conservation and management of wetlands.

About Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management

  • The Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM) will be set up by the central government in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • This conservation centre would be a part of the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management. This national centre is an institution under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
  • The CWCM will play a significant role to design and implement the regulatory frameworks and policies. It will also help in monitoring, management planning and targeted research in a bid to conserve the wetlands.
  • The conservation centre will also act as a knowledge hub.
  • It will enable the exchange between the wetland authorities in States or Union Territories, managers, wetland researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and users.
  • The centre will further help in building the networks and partnerships with the relevant international and national agencies.

What are wetlands?

  • Wetland are a distinct ecosystem that are flooded by water.
  • They are flooded either permanently or seasonally.
  •  In such ecosystems, oxygen-free processes prevail.
  •  Wetlands helps in water purification, water storage, processing of carbon and the stabilization of shorelines.
  • It also provides support to the plants and animals.
  • They are the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems.
  • They occur naturally on every continent and the water in the can be either freshwater, brackish, or saltwater.

Wetlands in India

  • India has 42 Ramsar sites that have been designated as Wetlands of International Importance. They cover around 4.6% of Indian landmass.

World Wetlands Day

  • In a bid to conserve the wetlands, February 2 is observed as World Wetlands Day.
  • In the year 2021, the day marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
  • This convention was signed at Ramsar in Iran in the year 1971.

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