Wetlands of India Portal launched
- Minister of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, launched the ‘Wetlands of India’ portal on October 2, 2021.
- The portal has been launched as part of the Iconic Week of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav of the Ministry from October 4-10, 2021.
- The portal will be a single point for accessing all sorts of information relating to the wetlands.
- Wetlands are areas of land where water covers the soil – all year or just at certain times of the year. They include:
- Swamps, marshes
- Lakes, lagoons
- Saltmarshes, mudflats
- Mangroves, coral reefs
- Bogs, fens, and peatlands.
About the portal
- The web portal, http://indianwetlands.in, provides details on the wetlands of the country.
- It is a dynamic system for processing information and making it available to the stakeholders in an efficient and accessible manner.
- Furthermore, the portal also hosts capacity-building material, data repository, videos, and related information for students.
- On the portal, each State and UT has a dashboard, through which it can access information of wetlands in their administration.
- The portal aims to engage citizens. Currently, citizens can register themselves and upload wetland-related pictures across different themes.
- It also allows them the facility to take a pledge to become Wetland Mitra and indicate their State/UT and areas of interest.
- The initiative would help the respective States and UT administration in contacting the person for various programs and initiatives related to wetland conservation.
Wetland Status in India
- India nearly has 4.6% of its land as wetlands that cover an area of 15.26 million hectares.
- Further, there are 42 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 1.08 million hectares.
- However, as per the Ramsar Convention on wetlands report, the wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests, with 35% of the wetlands lost from 1970-2015.
- It is an alarming situation, demanding urgent attention as 40% of the world’s plant and animal species breed in wetlands.
- The wetlands are also vital feeding and breeding grounds for migratory birds.
- It is the intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
- The Convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975.
- Since then, almost 90% of UN member states have become “Contracting Parties” and committed to the Convention’s three pillars:
- Work towards the wise use of all their wetlands.
- Designate suitable wetlands for the list of Wetlands International Importance and ensure their effective management.
- Cooperate internationally on transboundary wetlands, shared wetland systems and shared species.