The Bihar State Wetlands Authority, in their first meeting held on August 28, 2020 under chairmanship of Mr Sushil Modi, Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Bihar, and Minister (Environment, Forest and Climate Change), resolved to correct land use classification of wetlands.
The category of wastelands as per the Bihar Soil and Water Conservation & Land Development Act, 1970 have included waterlogged areas, prompting state to take measures for reducing these unproductive lands, by essentially funding wetland drainage programmes. The Authority resolved to update land records by removing wetlands from wastelands category and placing these areas in a distinct category of their own. The Authority also decided to consolidate a review process for all developmental projects which directly or indirectly concern wetlands. Mr D. K. Singh, Principal Secretary, Environment, laid down a blueprint for different sectors to coherently integrate wetlands in developmental processes. Kanwar Jheel, which is being designated as a Wetland of International Importance under Ramsar Convention will be accorded high priority for conservation and wise use, as was endorsed by all members present. The meeting was attended by representatives of water resources, tourism, agriculture, fisheries, forests and environment, and research institutions.
Director, Wetlands International South Asia is an invited member of the Authority, and will be assisting the state in formulation of integrated management plans for priority wetlands and developing capacity of line departments.