The Ramsar Convention designated ‘Wetlands for Our Future’ as the theme for World Wetlands Day 2015.
The importance of wetlands is immense and it is our duty to preserve wetlands, not only for us, but for our future generations. Wetlands help in
- preventing flooding by holding water, much like a sponge
- keeping the water levels normal
- filtering and purifying the surface water
- controlling erosion and holding the surface water
- holding the carbon to the surface of the water; hence their destruction will lead to increased carbon emission into the atmosphere.
Many animals, including amphibians, use wetland areas for migration or reproduction. The functions of wetlands are often compared with those of the kidneys in a human body – both help in cleaning the system, and thus in the vital function maintaining the balance of the system, be it the environment or the body.
The East Kolkata Wetlands comprise of a large number of water bodies, and were designated a "wetland of international importance" under the Ramsar Convention on August 19, 2002.The wetland ecosystem consists of an area of 12,500 hectares and has more than 250 fisheries and small agricultural plots.
Wetlands are areas for migration and reproduction
of many amphibians (Bongodorshon)
The West Bengal Government has implemented an integrated plan, which is in sync with the Ramsar Protocol, to prevent the wetlands on the eastern fringe of Kolkata from deteriorating in character due to urbanisation.
The East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW) is an eco-friendly system of solid waste management and sewer treatment for Kolkata, and also provide opportunities to fisheries. It is home to a large variety of flora and fauna, and the state government's efforts towards the beautification of the area around EKW has attracted tourists as well. It has also emerged as one of the hotspots for bird photographers and bird watchers as it hosts a wide range of migratory birds during the winters.
Lead Image: Bongodorshon