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Jaypee University of Information Technology

HIMCOSTE to celebrate World Wetlands Day on Feb 2, 2024

HimWorld Wetlands Day (WWD) is celebrated every year on 2nd February. This year Himachal Pradesh State Wetlands Authority (HIMCOSTE) is celebrating World Wetlands Day on 2nd February, 2024 at different locations viz. Govind Sagar Lake, Pong Dam and Renuka Wetlands of Himachal Pradesh. The State Level Function shall be organized at Rewalsar Wetland in Rewalsar, Mandi District of H.P. wherein more than 500 students, NGO’s will take part. The theme of World wetland day 2024 is “Wetland and Human Wellbeing”. The day is celebrated internationally each year on 2nd February and marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on wetlands of international importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar City, Iran on 2nd February, 1971.

World wetland day was first celebrated in 1997. Since then, government agencies, non-government organizations and community groups have celebrated this day by undertaking actions to raise public awareness of wetland values, benefits and promote the conservation and wide use of wetlands. Activities include seminars, nature walks and festivals, announcement of new Ramsar sites, newspaper articles, radio interviews and wetland rehabilitation.

Wetlands provide enormous benefits to society including freshwater, purifying, and filtering harmful wastes from water; a source of foods, act as buffer for extreme events and help reduce risks from flooding & drought; help combat climate change through providing protection from extreme weather events; as a source of livelihood s for countless number of people.; as well as supporting a vast array of biodiversity.

Himachal Pradesh encompasses a wide variety of wetlands, spread in various ecological zones which are the source of livelihood for the local community and have immense aesthetic & tourism values. Presently, the State has three “Ramsar sites- Wetlands of International Importance” namely Pong dam (Kangra), Renuka (Sirmaur) and Chandertal (L& Spiti). Besides, Rewalsar (Mandi) and Khajjiar (Chamba) have also been included as National Importance Wetlands by the Ministry of Environment & Forest & Climate Change, GoI for its conservation and management.

Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Hon’ble Chief Minister conveyed his best wishes to the citizens of State. He said wetlands play very important role wetlands plays in maintaining the ecological balance and mitigating the effects of climate change, while reiterating the pledge of the government to conserve the State’s Ramsar Sites & other important wetlands in the State.

Prabodh Saxena, Chief Secretary and Chairman (HIMCOSTE) appreciated the valuable role played by local communities in conservation of Ramsar Sites of HP. He said that the first meeting of State Wetlands Authority was held on 10.8.2023 under his Chairmanship as Vice Chairman of H.P. State Wetlands Authority and further activities have been planned for all wetlands in HP.

D.C. Rana, Member Secretary (HIMCOSTE) highlighted the role of the District Level Wetlands Committees relating to conservation, management, protection, and implementation of wetland rules. He conveyed his good wishes for the successful celebration of Wetland Day functions at different locations of State. He said that HP State Wetland Authority has organized 279 events under “Save Wetlands Campaign” through Eco Clubs with participation of 27,458 volunteers. He also informed that Wetlands Day function at four locations are being organised in collaboration with Department of Forest, Education, Tourism, Fisheries, and district administration. He further said that the function at 4 locations would be celebrated by doing weeklong cleanliness and awareness campaigns. In the programme local communities, students, teachers, NGOs of the nearby schools, panchayats are involved. In addition cleanliness programme, painting competitions, talks and lectures will be organized around adjoining locations of wetlands.

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