Wetlands International South Asia celebrated its Silver Jubilee year of inception on 29 September, 2022. Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs and Education Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh graced the occasion as the chief guest. Congratulating the organisation on achieving this epic milestone, Dr Singh praised the conservation efforts of Wetlands International South Asia.
He emphasised that water security is central to lives and livelihoods of people and thus calls for the participatory role of the individuals beyond their societal realm. He informed that in its 75th year of independence, India designated 75 wetlands as Ramsar sites which is the largest network in Asia.
Laying emphasis on wetlands as societal assets, Dr Ritesh Kumar-Director Wetlands International South Asia stressed upon decentralising wetland management augmenting interventions from regulatory to one enabling a participatory approach through dialogues and collaborative actions.
Dr Siddharth Kaul, President Wetlands International South Asia highlighted the 25 years journey of the organisation since its inception in 1996.
Three publications highlighting the wetlands conservation were also released on the occasion. These included (i) Role of citizens (ii) Inspiring Echoes (iii) Wetlands Champions.
Wetlands International South Asia also held a number of pan India activities on different environmental themes at college and school level to highlight the efforts for conserving wetlands in South Asian region. The core group of young people was the focal point. The winners of different competitions were also awarded during the Silver Jubilee celebration.
A panel discussion on ‘Wetlands conservation-challenges and prospects’ was also organised. The panellists included Mr Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, WWF India, Prof R R Mishra, Special Technical Advisor, NIUA and Former DG National Mission on Clean Ganga, Dr Sara Ahmad, Founder Living Waters Museum and Member, Governing Body, Mr Pijush Sinha, Board Member, Avendus Finance Private Limited, and Member, Governing Body. Dr Ritesh Kumar-Director, Wetlands International South Asia moderated the discussion.
The panellists emphasised on simple language use while talking about Wetlands to make a wider impact in Wetland conservation. The panellists also stressed to take the conservation efforts to the grassroot level and not be confined to discussions and management plans.