Our History

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Wetlands International South Asia was established in 1996, with an office in New Delhi, India as a part of Wetlands International network to promote conservation and sustainable development of wetlands in South Asia region. Wetlands International established its global headquarters in Netherlands in 1996. The predecessor organizations of Wetlands International have worked for wetland conservation since 1937.

Integrating wetlands into water management was the initial focus of work in South Asia, implemented in the form of long-term projects at two major Ramsar sites of India, Loktak Lake (Manipur) and Chilika (Odisha). The work has gradually expanded to cover areas of management planning, wetland inventory and assessment, ecosystem services evaluation, conservation of critical habitats, capacity development, communication and outreach and policy formulation support.

In 2005, Wetlands International South Asia was registered as a non-profit Society under the Societies Registration Act of Government of India and has since expanded work to wetlands in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives. The Society is steered by a General Body comprising eminent conservation planners and experts who guide our strategic direction. President, Vice-President and Treasurer are the Office Bearers of the Society. Management decisions are vested in a Governing Body comprising Office Bearers, three elected members from General Body and Chief Executive Officer, Wetlands International.

A multidisciplinary team established within the office and expert network enable providing evidence-based scientific and technical advice to central and state governments, wetland authorities, and civil society on various aspects of wetland management.