Page 12 - NamamiGange 9th edition NewsLetter
P. 12

National Mission for Clean Ganga                                                      Special
Integrating Wetlands in management of river Ganga basin                                             Feature

Wetlands are defined as areas of marsh, fen, peat land or water;      tributaries give rise to myriad floodplains, marshes and ox-bows
whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary; with water     such as Lakhbahosi and Patna Jheel in Uttar Pradesh and Kanwar
that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt (Ramsar            and Bariella in Bihar. The Central Highland region of Ganga basin is
Convention 1971). Wetlands contribute significantly to the health     studded with human-made wetlands in the form of tanks and
of the river basin through their role in moderating hydrological      reservoirs. Lake water storage structures, such as Bhoj Tal in
regimes, recharging groundwater, abating pollution, recycling         Madhya Pradesh serve critical water supply fuctions. The
nutrients, and providing for a range of other provisioning,           Gangetic delta has a number of creeks, estuaries, mangrove
regulating and cultural services. They support a very rich aquatic    swamps, marshes and human-made wetlands as fish ponds and
bio-diversity, and serve as prime habitats for numerous aquatic       water storage structures. The Sunderbans are famed as the
and amphibious plant and animal species. They act as important        world's largest single chunk of mangroves. The over 4,500
carbon sink, nutrient transformer and repository of rich genetic      reservoirs form an integral component of the basin's wetland
material.                                                             regimes.

The Ganga Basin is bestowed with diverse natural and human-           Of the 180 wetlands identified as national priority by MoEF&CC, 49
made wetlands regime, ecologically and hydrologically                 are located within the Ganga Basin (1 in Himachal Pradesh, 7 in
interconnected with River Ganga and her tributaries. The              Uttarakhand, 2 in Haryana, 4 in Rajasthan, 9 in Madhya Pradesh,
Himalayan region is dotted with several wetlands of glacial or        16 in Uttar Pradesh, 3 in Bihar and 7 in West Bengal).
tectonic origin, such as Satopanth Taal, Vasuki Taal, Dodi Taal, and
Sattal. The Terai region, sandwiched between the Bhabhar tract of     Wetlands conservation and NMCG's vision:
Sub-Himalayas and Gangetic plains has numerous swamps,
marshes and seasonally inundated grasslands and wetlands.             Wetlands conservation supports all the major objectives of the
From west to east, the copious rainfall in Gangetic plains and        Ganga River Management, given the role these ecosystems play in
highly fertile alluvium brought over the ages by Ganga and her        moderating hydrological regimes, recharging groundwater,
                                                                      buffering floods and improving water quality.

                                                                   Initiative by NMCG

NMCG in collaboration with Uttar Pradesh State Wetland Authority endeavours to work on 10 floodplain wetlands along river Ganga for
preparation of restoration and management plan for these wetlands.

Workshop on developing a Road Map for Conservation of Wetlands in Ganga Basin on 4th February 2019

A workshop on 'Developing a Road Map for Conservation of              books- 'Jalaj-A Ganga Prahari Initiative in Varanasi', Urban Cafe:
Wetlands in Ganga Basin' was held in partnership with WWF India.      River For Habitat, A Policy Dialogue, 'Hamari Jahnvi-A collection of
During the inaugural session, Shri Rajiv Mishra, Director General,    poetic work for Bal Ganga'.
NMCG emphasized on the importance of wetlands in Ganga
ecosystem. Shri Mishra further reiterated that the NMCG is            Shri Suresh Babu, Director, Rivers Program, WWF India also
committed to conserve the wetlands in the Ganga basin.                emphasized the importance of wetlands in the Ganga river basin.
                                                                      He underlined the importance of institutional structure for the
Shri U.P. Singh, Secretary, MoWR, RD & GR congratulated NMCG          conservation of wetlands. Shri C.K. Varshney, Retd. Prof, JNU
for engaging with various stake holders on the vital issue of         emphasized on the fact that small wetlands are decentralized
'conservation of wetlands'. Shri D.P. Mathuria, ED (Technical),       water storage system and are integral to the drinking water
NMCG expressed his gratitude on behalf of NMCG to the                 availability in the country. His suggestions included mapping of
dignitaries who took out time and gave inputs in the workshop. On     river catchment, ban on sand mining, ban on dumping of the waste
the occasion, the eminent dignitaries on the dais released 3          along river and creating more ox-bow lake or recharge channels.

Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, DG, NMCG speaking at Wetland Conservation Workshop on 4th February, 2019 along with other guest speakers and panelist.
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