Celebrating Wetland Wealth in Uttar Pradesh
Wetlands are productive ecosystems that play an essential role in hydrological cycles. The presence of wetlands can have an impact on storms and floods, clean water supplies, and provide food and fiber and recreational benefits. Wetlands can, however, be vulnerable to land use and developmental changes arising out of increasing population pressure.
Uttar Pradesh is the most populated state in the country, and its wetlands are in dire need of conservation. WWF-India is working in the area to raise awareness and monitor the Ramganga River, a major wetland in the Gangetic River Basin.
Over 200 students from schools across the district attended the World Wetlands Day event, from schools and colleges including the Air Force School, Rikhi Singh Inter College, Bishop Conrad, Chikar International School, and St. Xavier’s School, Bareilly. Mr. Sanjay Kumar (IAS), District Magistrate of the area was the chief guest at this year’s celebrations. Among the various activities, participants were shown presentations on wetlands and their importance in the larger scheme of water and soil conservation.
Mr. M. P. Singh, Chief Conservator of Forest, West Zone, Bareilly, who also chaired the event, said, “Wetlands support various types of life and also control floods, ground water (levels) and soil erosion. Soil conservation is important for good agriculture on which the economy of a common Indian depends.”
An Instinct Denied— a documentary about water birds in the wetlands of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary— was screened to highlight the importance of wetlands as crucial habitats for migratory and resident birds. A painting and poster contest concluded the day’s events, and students were sent home with prizes and encouragement to explore wetlands in their immediate neighborhoods and localities.
Dr. Mudit Gupta, coordinator Terai Arc Landscape (East) said, “Students are the future and they could be the torch-bearers and drivers of change in any environmental campaign.”
Anne Marie- Singh
Communications Manager, TeraiArc Landscape