The theme of 2021 World Wetlands Day was ‘wetlands and water’ highlighting the inseparability of wetlands and water management in the quest for sustainable development. Wetlands International South Asia celebrated World Wetlands Day by organising a public webinar which was joined by 80 participants from India and neighboring countries.
The discussions at the World Wetlands Day webinar highlighted the challenges and opportunities for integrating wetlands into water management policies and practices in the South Asia region. Some key takeaways were:
- It is important to build community stewardship and capacity to manage the diverse wetland resources towards building water and food security. Solutions which are cost effective and tailored to local needs need to be explored diligently making use of modern technology.
- Wetlands as nature-based solutions can provide much needed flexibility to the conventional water infrastructure, however, there is a need to make management systems more effective, inclusive and transparent.
- Effective land and water governance is at the core of water-wetlands connect. By building convergence amongst different developmental schemes and implementing organisations, multiple goals of wetlands conservation, wildlife protection, water security and livelihoods can be met.
Mr Suresh Prabhu (Hon’ble Member of Parliament – Rajya Sabha) graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Prof Asit K Biswas, Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Glasgow and a global authority on water policy and management issues delivered the key note address.
An eminent expert panel comprising Dr Sonam Wangchuk (Founder and Advisor, Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh), Mr Sanjay Srivastava (Additional PCCF, Government of Uttar Pradesh) and Mr Sanjib Sarangi (Associate Vice President, Indian Grameen Services Orrisa) discussed diverse perspectives on wetlands – water integration.
Four publications, namely, Sarovar (Newsletter of Wetlands International South Asia), World Wetlands Day Poster, A Guidebook on Management of High-Altitude Wetlands and a Training Module on Wetlands and Water was also released during the event.
The detailed report can be downloaded from this link.