1What is a wetland? Wetlands are Wetlands are interface between ecosystems whose formation, processes and characteristics are determined by water. Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems . It is an area of land whose soil is Saturated with moisture either permanently or for a long enough season every year to support aquatic plants. Wetlands are not necessarily "wet" all year round They have been called the 'nature's kidneys' because they cleanse our environment. mangroves deltas and lakes are some types of wetlands. swamps. or brackish (a combination of the two) 3 . A paddy farm is also a wetland Wetlands can contain fresh water.Facts About Wetlands Wetlands are typically low-lying areas They can be natural or man-made They can be coastal or inland Floodplains. salt water. marshes. How wetlands work Contaminants and sediments are filtered. Provides critical wildlife habitat Cleaner water outflow . Ashtamudi (Wetland) Bhitarkanika (Mangroves) Bhoj (Wetland) Chandertal (Wetland) Chilika (Lake) Deepor Beel East Calcutta (Wetlands) Harike (Lake) Hokera (Wetland) Kanjli Keoladeo (National Park) Kolleru (Lake) Loktak (Lake) Point Calimere (Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary) Pong Dam (Lake) Renuka (Lake) Ropar Rudrasagar (Lake) Sambhar (Lake) Sasthamkotta (Lake) Surinsar – Mansar (Lakes) Tsomoriri Vembanad-Kol (Wetland) Wular (Lake) Upper Ganga River (Narora to Brijghat stretch) 5 Some important wetlands in India . Many species of birds and mammals rely on wetlands for food.Importance of wetlands •Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. •They Play a significant role in maintaining a high level of biological diversity. and shelter. water. birds. reptiles. 6 . amphibians. They provide rich habitat for an immense variety of species of microbes. and mammals. especially plants. comparable to rain forests and coral reefs. insects. during migration and breeding. fish. thereby reducing soil erosion They are also important to the nutrient cycle.Uses of wetlands water management Think of a wetland as a huge sponge Wetlands store water when it is in excess and release it to the ground during dry periods This helps in recharge and discharge of groundwater They assist in flood control They reduce the momentum of water as it flows to a river or a stream. 7 . Hydrologic conditions can be modified by: Nutrient availability Degree of substrate anoxia Soil salinity Sediment properties pH Water Quality Chemical and Physical Properties . Water Quality Biotic Properties Vegetation can control water conditions through: Peat building Sediment trapping Nutrient retention Water shading Transpiration . Uses of wetlands Wetlands plants and soil store carbon instead of releasing it to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Wetlands help retain sediments and increase soil fertility Mangroves can protect shorelines from strong winds and can reduce the impact of hurricanes and tsunamis 10 . Thus they help moderate global climate environmental Plants that grow in wetlands are very effective in filtering out water pollution Many wetlands remove pollutants from surface runoff and small streams. estuaries.Storm Abatement Wetlands act as buffer of storm surge and wave energy Sustain minimal damage Shelter inland property ―Regional wetlands are integral parts of larger landscapes—drainage basins.‖1 . adding stability to the shore sediment Particularly important during winter storms when aerial stems provide only limited resistance .Erosion Control Shoreline stabilization Aerial parts of marsh plants dissipate wave energy Both offshore and longshore transport of sediment are reduced Dense stands can create a depositional environment Plants form dense root-rhizome mats. Galveston .Erosion Control Planting marsh grass is a better alternative than: Bulkheads Seawalls Rip rap Gulf Intercoastal Waterway Photo Courtesy of USACE. and bird watching. such as canoeing. 14 . fishing.Uses of wetlands – economic Wetlands provide livelihoods by being a source of (Consumptive use ) •Agricultural produce •Craft materials •timber production •Medicinal plants •Fishing •Hunting They can also be recreation spaces (non-consumptive uses ) Wetlands provide opportunities for humans to enjoy outdoor activities. of the Earth Source of community education Cultural Representation of a community heritage . chemistry.Other Values Historical Archeological finds suggesting the use of wetlands for a variety of subsistence and commercial uses Scientific/Educational Scientific research to further our understanding of the ecology. geology. etc. Other Values. Aesthetics – High quality of life enjoyed by the general public and property owners . cont. Threats to wetlands Natural Natural disasters like hurricanes and floods Over grazing by wildlife Drought . Global warming 5. Sand and gravel mining 4. Acid rain .Development Draining out wetlands for construction Anthropogenic Damming them to form lakes or ponds Diverting water flow 2.Threats to wetlands 1.Pollution 3. Ramsar convention The Convention on Wetlands -. 19 .embodies the commitments of its member countries to plan for the "wise use". or sustainable use. An intergovernmental treaty .called the "Ramsar Convention" – was signed in Ramsar. Iran. of all of the wetlands in their territories. in 1971. AND RESTORING WETLANDS The most notable feature of federal wetland protection policy today is that there is no specific. SUSTAINING.PROTECTING. comprehensive national wetland law . Solutions for protecting wetlands Legally protect existing wetlands Steer development away from existing wetlands Use mitigation banking only as a last resort Require creation and evaluation of a new wetland before destroying an existing wetland Restore degraded wetlands Try to prevent and control invasions by nonnative species . 22 . •Both the Conservation Reserve Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program pay farmers to take land out of production or set land aside for a designated time period.Conservation Reserve and Wetlands Reserve Programs (1985 and 1990 Farm Bills) •Two important incentive approaches for protection and restoration of wetlands were parts of the 1985 and 1990 Farm Bills. •Landowners agree not to drain. with the 1970 passage of the Water Bank Act (16 U. 23 . 1301).S.Water Bank Act •The Water Bank Program is another federally operated incentive approach geared largely to agricultural wetland protection. or otherwise destroy wetlands and to maintain ground cover essential for the resting.C. similar to the CRP. burn. level. but initiated long before it. breeding. or feeding of migratory waterfowl in exchange for annual payments. fill. 1972 Water (Prevention and Control of Pol1ution)Act .1976 Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act .1986 Coastal Zone Regulation Notification .1927 Wildlife (Protection) Act . Exclusive Economic Zone and other Marine Zones Act .1980 Environmental (Protection) Act .1991 National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and I Development . Some Of the key legislation is given below : The Indian Fisheries Act .PROTECTING AND RESTORING WETLANDS in INDIA Wetlands conservation in India is indirectly influenced by an array of policy and legislative measures. Continental Shelf.1992 National Policy And Macro level Action Strategy on Biodiversity-1999 24 .1974 Territorial Water.1991 Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act .1977 Maritime Zone of India.1857 The Indian Forest Act .(Regulation and fishing by foreign vessels) Act 1980 Forest (Conservation Act) . National Wetlands Conservation Programme(NWCP): Objectives to lay down policy guidelines for conservation and management of wetlands in the country to provide financial assistance for undertaking intensive conservation measures in the identified wetlands. 25 . Legal Framework As of now there is no specific legal framework for wetland conservation. to monitor implementation of the programme. Draft regulatory framework for conservation and management of wetlands is being finalized to be notified under the Environment (Protection) Act. 1986. management and their wise use. and to prepare an inventory of Indian wetlands. Providing technical expertise and know-how including training of personnel. is responsible for the following: Providing financial assistance for implementation of the approved items of the programme. Issue of detailed guidelines covering all aspects of management.Role of Central Government The Central Government is responsible for overall coordination of wetland conservation programmes and initiatives at the international and national levels. The Central Govt. 26 . Evaluation of the interventions made. Thank you 27 .