Wetlands are not wasteland; conservation is need of hour: Experts

World wetlands day celebrated across Kashmir


SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir administration celebrated ‘World Wetlands Day’ at famous Hokersar Wetland in Srinagar.
The aim of the initiative was to highlight the importance of wetlands to educate youth. During the programme, a number of wildlife experts, government officials and nature-loving students and volunteers of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) participated in the event.
Warden Wetlands Division Kashmir Ishfan Deewan said on the occasion that we are celebrating World Wetlands Day with an aim to create awareness among common masses for preservation of these wetlands.
She said, that these wetlands are shrinking due to pollution and population growth,so it is our first duty to protect these wetlands from encroachments and this is the need of hour.
The theme for this year revolves around “Wetlands and Human Wellbeing,” emphasising the interconnected relationship between wetlands and the well-being of humanity.
Participants took oath to preserve wetlands and students also made paintings based on theme of environment. Experts gave different lectures and Power Point Presentations regarding the importance of wetlands.
Speakers said, that these wetlands are not barren lands or waste lands, they are acting as purifiers for groundwater in the same way that human kidney’s clean waste in the body. Wetlands are major source of groundwater; these wetlands are playing an important role for agriculture and horticulture sectors. Wetlands can decrease flooding remove pollutants from water, recharge groundwater, protect shorelines, provide habitat for wildlife, and perform other various important functions.
These wetlands attract lakhs of migratory birds also known as guest birds from different parts of world which increases the beauty of the valley. Many people earn their livelihood from these wetlands but unfortunately, these wetlands lost their glory due to encroachment of people. According to experts, these wetlands are playing a tremendous role to maintain our ecological system.
According to experts the wetlands of Kashmir are mostly located in the flood plan of River Jhelum and Sind and are characterized by the varying in Hydroedaphic features. All the wetlands are linked with each other. Wetlands form a significant part of our ecosystem.
The wetlands of Kashmir valley can also be classified in a comparatively easier way on the basis of various characteristics like altitude, size (water-spread area) status of wetland, location, and source of water. The Jammu & Kashmir region has 3651 big and small wetlands.
The wetlands of J&K, Surinsar-Mansar in Jammu, Hokersar and Wular in Kashmir are identified as Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance.

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