Celebrating World Wetlands Day
Post by RK News on Friday, February 3, 2023
World Wetlands Day was observed on February 2. Ramsar Convention or the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance is an international treaty for conservation of wetlands. The convention was signed on February 2, in 1971, and every year February 2 is celebrated as the World Wetlands Day (WWD). The day was celebrated all across the world with special focus on saving wetlands from getting extinct. The event was celebrated with participation of environmentalists, journalists, farmers, activists etc., from across the world as the needs to conserve wetlands and to increase agricultural production to meet increasing food demand has been realized. It is a fact that wetlands play a significant role in maintaining the ecological balance but their exploitation continues unabated despite significant public outrage, social campaigns and public interest lawsuits. There is a consensus among environmentalists and researchers to create awareness on the protection and conservation of wetlands among the common masses in order to preserve the fragile ecology that is in a constant threat of extinction. Wetlands have been a source of livelihood for mankind, and within and around it; abundant flora and fauna continue to flourish. Furthermore, wetlands help in controlling floods, act as a source of drinking water and also help in maintaining bio diversity. The growing neglect and the lack of awareness is also responsible for the depleting condition of our wetlands. Nowadays the rampant concretization, climate change and illegal encroachments are putting our wetlands and water bodies to a greater risk. In addition, untreated garbage and sewage are contaminating our water sources day in and day out. Kashmir valley being a part of western Himalayas has a very fragile eco-system and is more vulnerable to climate change and any disruption here would also have a greater effect on the Indian plains. The Himalayan glaciers feed most of India's rivers and any harm to them would have a greater effect in most of the India. In order to preserve our wetlands, the concerned authorities must recognize that there is no magic bullet available that can revive all the wetlands but it needs a multi pronged approach depending on the ecological nature, resources and socio-cultural practices of a given area. Also, the unlawful invasion of wetlands should be stopped immediately and the persons who are involved in illegal encroachments must be brought to the book at an earliest. Moreover, the administration should prioritize the development and preservation of the wetlands along the riverside. Being the responsible citizens, it’s the duty of the public as well to cooperate with the administration and other stakeholders in preserving our wetlands. Development should not come at the cost of our wetlands, we must try to preserve them not kill them.