Bihar pitches five major wetlands for Ramsar tag

Updated on Jan 06, 2023 09:39 PM IST

Currently, Bihar has only one Ramsar site , Kabar Jheel in Begusarai, which was declared thus in August 2020.

Gogabil lake is a natural waterlogged area of 137 hectares in Bihar’s Katihar district. (HT Photo)
Gogabil lake is a natural waterlogged area of 137 hectares in Bihar’s Katihar district. (HT Photo)
By, Patna

The Bihar government has decided to claim the Ramsar site status for five major wetlands in the state, a top official said on Friday.

Arvind Chaudhary, principal secretary, department of environment, forest and climate change (DoEFCC), said the five wetlands, whose proposals have been finalised for sending to the union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) for further processes, are Kusheshwar Asthan in Darbhanga, Tal Baraila in Vaishali, Gogabil in Katihar, Nagi and Nakati dams in Jamui.

Currently, Bihar has only one Ramsar site , Kabar Jheel in Begusarai, which was declared thus in August 2020.

There are 75 Ramsar sites in the country, which are wetlands designated to be of international importance and protected under strict guidelines of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, as stipulated by the UNESCO in 1971.

Baraila lake in Vaishali is spread in over 1204 hectares, while Kusheshwar Asthan wetland covers an area of 863 hectare. Gogabil is a natural waterlogged area of 137 hectares in Katihar, while Nakati and Nagi dams in Jamui are spread on 333 and 192 hectares.

Principal chief conservator of forest (climate change and wetlands) N Jawaharbabu said Kusheshwar Asthan, Tal Baraila and Gogabil are natural structures while those in Jamui are man-made. “It will be of great deal for the state government to preserve the ecological character of wetlands once they are notified as Ramsar sites,” said Jawaharbabu, adding that the DoFECC had already launched the process of preparing brief documents with details of core zone, buffer zones and zone of influence of as many as 28 major wetlands in the country.

The DoEFCC is carrying out survey of perennially waterlogged areas to notify them as designated wetlands.

The department has also proposed to set up a research and training centre for conservation and management of notified wetlands, which would in turn be developed for the purpose of ecotourism.

Kumar Deepak, a wetland management expert, said that conservation of wetlands are important in keeping with the state government’s plan of making Bihar carbon neutral by 2040. “Wetlands are considered a major source for carbon sinking,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Subhash Pathak is special correspondent of Hindustan Times with over 15 years of experience in journalism, covering issues related to governance, legislature, police, Maoism, urban and road infrastructure of Bihar and Jharkhand.

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