The South Asia region is endowed by a range of wetlands, exhibiting enormous diversity based on their genesis, geographical location, hydrological regimes and climatic factors. Through their wide ranging ecosystem services and biodiversity values, including Himalayan water tower, these aquatic ecosystems play a central role in ensuring water, food and climate security in the region, besides being inextricably linked to cultural identity.
However, the region’s complex development dynamics, coupled with limited awareness on the contribution lakes and wetlands make to societal well-being, has led to severe pressure on these ecosystems. Wetlands continue to be degraded and lost due to conversion for alternate uses, fragmentation of hydrological regimes, pollution, species invasion, unsustainable tourism, overharvesting of resources and regional climate change.
A significant limiting factor for success of wetlands restoration initiatives is their limited integration in basin scale planning. Planning for restoration and management of lentic and lotic ecosystems is rarely done in conjunction, leading to silos approaches and missed opportunities of realizing co-benefits. At the same time, the cultural connectedness and shared geopolitical histories indicate that there is far greater value in promoting and stimulating intra-regional exchange and sustaining built capacities within the region.
This side event aims to explore the value of a South Asia Lake Basin platform for wetland managers and policy makers to undertake collaborative efforts for integrated management of wetlands, taking into account basin and coastal zone scale interactions, building on experiences, lessons and best practices.
17th World Lake Conference, Japan - Side Event Flyerdownload