The expansion of urban pockets, speedy development, lack of awareness and increasing population pressure are some of the challenges that are hampering wetland conservation, said VN Garg, principal secretary, forest and environment.
Addressing a function organised at Lucknow Zoo on the World Wetland Day on Monday, Garg said that Wetlands have reduced by 65% since 1900 and by 2025, two out of every three persons in the world would be struggling for water. “Awareness can play a vital role. If we are able to make people aware about the importance of wetlands and give attention towards conservation of ponds, rivers, and reduce pollution levels in water bodies, we will be able to reduce the problems in future,” he said.
World Wetland Day marks the date of signing of the Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar. It was celebrated for the first time in 1997 and since then each year, government agencies, non-governmental organisations, and citizens groups help raise public awareness of wetland benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular.
Only 3% of the total water available on the earth if fresh water but 20% bio diversity depends upon this source.
Officials of the forest department also flagged off a bus in which enthusiasts went to Nawabganj wetland on a daylong tour during the programme.