Gujarat observed the World wetlands day.

published on February 2, 2013
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat forest department has decided to prepare a detailed plan for 21 wetlands in the state which fall in the criteria of Ramsar Site.

This decision was taken at a seminar on “Nalsarovar: Steps Ahead after Ramsar Recognition” organized to mark World Wetlands day. During the seminar, it was decided that these 21 wetlands across the state are potential Ramsar sites and based on the documentation done for Nalsarovar. The department has decided to speed up the entire process of making the documents.

Every year on February 2 World Wetlands Day (WWD) is celebrated. It marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. World Wetlands Day was celebrated for the first time in 1997. “Each year, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular,” said Dr. Sasi Kumar, the deputy conservator of forest.

During the seminar, it was also decided that the department will carry out a detailed study by adopting scientific methods to study the migratory routes of the birds coming to Nalsarovar and also the importance of Gujarat in their migration.

Also, it was decided that the department will prepare an annual awareness plan to educate the local tourists and the locals about the conservation of birds and the wetlands. Kumar further stated that the forest department and the collector will prepare an eco-development plan for the villages around the wetland. This will help to involve the locals and villagers in the conservation.

As a part of the World Wetlands Day, several youth and school children moved from one village to another to create awareness about bird conservation that included Nalsarovar.

About 500 youths took part in the rally which was organized to mark the World Wetlands Day celebration. Villagers from Padar and Venkaria also joined the rally. They said that this was the first such move by the forest department where the locals were made a part of any celebration.

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