Inspiring Young Minds: Wetlands Take Center Stage in Odisha Schools!

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On February 5, 2024, Wetlands International South Asia, in collaboration with the Ganapati Sabata Foundation, held a session on ‘wetlands as a biological supermarket’ in two Odisha schools, attended by students in grades VIII and IX. The objective of this activity was to raise youth awareness about the importance of wetlands and their conservation through interactive and engaging methods of learning. The seminar covered a variety of wetlands-related topics, including their ecological relevance, involvement in flood mitigation and microclimate regulation, and role in biodiversity support, among others.

Diana Datta educating students on the significance of wetlands

Dayadra Mandal highlighting the Ramsar sites of Odisha to the students

The workshop session was organised at Oxford Public School and Government High School, Medical Campus, Berhampur, District- Ganjam, Odisha, with a total of nearly 400 students from both institutions. The session began with a brief introduction of the vision and track record of Wetlands International South Asia in wetlands and water management. Diana Datta (Programme Associate -IMWBES) and Dayadra Mandal (Junior Technical Officer – Water Management) interacted with the students, highlighting the significance of wetlands and the imperative for their conservation efforts. The session also emphasized the need for youth involvement in conserving these diverse wetlands.

Students at Oxford Public School cheerfully raising the Eco-Postcards

Students at Government High School, Medical Campus displaying the Eco-Postcards

The students gained valuable insights regarding the Ramsar Sites of Odisha, including the biodiversity they harbour, the inherent values they possess, and the benefits they offer. Additionally, they were made aware of the various threats confronting these sites. Remarkably, the students displayed an impressive level of curiosity and expressed a genuine desire to actively contribute to the conservation efforts aimed at protecting wetlands. Their enthusiasm and willingness to engage in preserving these vital ecosystems were clearly evident throughout the session.