Millennium Post

2-day workshop at Sunderbans to check health of wetlands

2-day workshop at Sunderbans to check health of wetlands

Kolkata: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEF and CC) is holding a two-day workshop at Sunderbans to impart lessons on monitoring the health of wetlands and engage the local people in its management.

Apart from Bengal, four other states — Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha — are taking part in the workshop.

The state Environment department is the nodal agency for the two-day workshop that kicked off on Thursday.

Four officials from each of the states who are involved in wetland management are attending the workshop.

Interestingly, it was only in January this year, when Sunderban Reserve Forest spread over 4,260 sqkm with over 2,000 sqkm of mangrove forests and creeks was declared a Ramsar Site.

It has been designated as India's 27th Ramsar site and now happens to be the largest protected wetland in the country.

"The objective of the workshop is to inform the stakeholders about the strategy for monitoring the health of the wetlands, chart out plans to activate the local people for conservation of wetlands and how to make a comprehensive management plan," said Manju Pandey, joint secretary of MOEF and CC.

Wetlands play a number of functions, including water purification, water storage, processing of carbon and other nutrients, stabilisation of shorelines, and support of plants and animals.

"When well-managed, healthy wetlands absorb and store excess rainfall and store it for the dry season, which helps communities cope with extreme weather events protecting them from disasters," a senior official of the Forest department said.

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