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Take photos, make short films to spread save wetland message in Navi Mumbai

Green warriors have invited residents to observe International Biodiversity Day on May 22

mumbai Updated: May 20, 2018 00:04 IST
Padmja Sinha
Padmja Sinha
Hindustan Times
Navi Mumbai,Talawe,International Biodiversity Day
Residents have been fighting to preserve the pristine waters and mangroves at Talawe wetland in Nerul. (Bachchan Kumar/HT)

City environmentalists and nature lovers have planned a series of activities to mark international day for biological diversity on May 22.

The day has been chosen by the United Nations to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The occasion will be used as platform to educate people about biological diversity in Talawe and Chanakya wetland areas and shed light on the factors responsible for environmental degradation.

The green warriors have invited city residents to explore the area, observe flora and fauna, take photographs, and make documentaries and short films to spread awareness about the wetlands which are home to various indigenous and migratory species of birds who frequent the area.

Sunil Agarwal, 55 resident, NRI complex, Nerul is spearheading a campaign to save Talawe and TS Chanakya wetlands. “More number of people joining the drive ensures maximum pressure on officials, to let the area remain green. Members have always contributed in generating awareness. Documentaries and other evidence of flora and fauna in the area would only strengthen our stand,” he said.

Dr Arun Kurhe, bird photographer and family physician has spent the last five years documenting rare wildlife around the mangrove and now has his own atlas of birds of the region. He has documented some 100-bird species in wetland areas across Palm Beach Road which will help in better understanding the ecosystem of the wetlands.

Kurhe said, “This is just an effort to highlight different species that are found in the area. More visitors would guarantee more awareness and visibility. We hope that many more people visit the area on the eve of world diversity day and spread information about it through word of mouth.”

In another initiative, a group of citizens have planned a walkathon to Belapur and Parsik hills during which the participants will be taught about the changing environment. Sudhesh Mali, 39, a Belapur resident said, “There was a time when the temperature of the satellite city was lower than neighbouring Mumbai, but since the last few years it has changed drastically. Tree cutting and destruction of natural water bodies has taken a toll on the environment.”

I have arranged a walkathon which will highlight the reasons behind the drastic change and steps to be taken to bring back greenery to the city. Children, adults as well as senior residents are welcomed to join the event and will be briefed about how city was in the past and how it has changed over the years,” he said.

Given that most children will be enjoying their summer break, an essay and slogan-writing competition about nature, earth and marine life has also been organised. Before the competitions, we will explain to the kids about international day of biodiversity,” said Navdeep Sahay, 45, secretary, Bhoomi Heights, Kamothe.

“The pristine wetland of the city is under threat of reclamation; hence the need of the hour is to spread awareness about biodiversity. It shouldn’t be a one-day activity but a year-round activity as many water bodies in the satellite city are under threat,” said Arvind Nagle, 28, bird enthusiast and nature photographer.

Save the date

On May 22, between 7 and 8am, volunteers will help residents at Talawe and TS wetlands in Nerul to capture the winged beauties in cameras and to make documentaries. Interested residents can contact Sunil Agarwal: 8169126372

Resident can also participate in Walkathon to discuss climate change at Urban Haat. The meeting point is Belapur station at 6.30am. Residents can contact Sudesh Mali: 9835471821

Slogan and essay writing competition for kids at Bhoomi Heights society in Kamothe. Kids would be given a day’s time to work on the theme

First Published: May 20, 2018 00:04 IST