First dedicated Wetland Conservation and Management Centre under MoEFCC set up in Chennai


A dedicated Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM) has been set up under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, at the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) in Chennai. The new governmental centre was announced by the Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Babul Supriyo on World Wetland Day on 2 February 2021. CWCM, as per a Press Information Bureau press release, will address specific research needs and knowledge gaps to address wetlands and their management, bring capacity development and cutting-edge research to wetlands in India, and help apply integrated approaches for conservation, management and wise use of India’s 42 globally-significant ‘Ramsar’ wetland sites.

India is home to 42 Ramsar sites –globally-important wetlands for conservation. Image Credit: Rachel C/Unsplash

Almost 4.6 percent of India’s land area are wetlands, spanning 15.26 million hectares. 2021 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971 in Ramsar, Iran, which is celebrated annually as “World Wetlands Day” on 2 February. Ramsar sites are wetlands designated to be of global importance under the Ramsar Convention, also known as the (international) Convention on Wetlands. The intergovernmental Ramsar treaty was established in 1971 by UNESCO.

The newly-established CWCM will support partnership and networks with national and international agencies that work on wetlands, according to the release. It will allegedly also act as a knowledge hub and facilitate exchanges between States and Union Territory Wetland authorities, users, managers, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners. The Centre will also help national and State/UT governments plan, monitor, design and implement policy and regulations, as well as carry out targeted research for effective conservation strategies.

At the launch of the Centre, Supriyo also released a publication about the diversity of fauna in India’s Ramsar sites.

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