Discussion on Wetlands and Biodiversity in BHU-South Campus
A discussion session on Wetlands and Biodiversity was organised on 1st February 2020 in The Department of Environment and Sustainable Development, Rajiv Gandhi South Campus, Banaras Hindu University. The discussion was lead by Sudhanshu Kumar of Vindhya Bachao.
Throughout the world, 2nd February is celebrated as World Wetland Day. It is worth noting that Wetland Day is organized to raise global awareness about the important role of wetlands for people and our planet. On 2 February 1971, a treaty was signed by various countries in Ramsar, Iran for the protection of wetlands around the world, hence World Wetlands Day is organized on this day. The Ramsar Wetlands Convention is an inter-governmental treaty that provides a framework for national work and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
The first-year students of M.Sc. Environmental Sciences and Technology celebrated the World Wetlands Day at Rajiv Gandhi South Campus of Banaras Hindu University. On this occasion, Sudhanshu Kumar an activist of Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation (Vindhya Bachao) presented his views on the Theme of the Year "Wetland and Biodiversity" and discussed with the students on wetland biodiversity and its importance. The students were also shown a video clip on why biodiversity is important. The students have decided to visit the check dams (man-made wetlands) located on the campus from 7 am tomorrow (2 February) and try to learn about the biodiversity available around it.
It is to be known that India has been a part of this treaty since 1 February 1982 and this year 10 wetlands of India have been included in the list of wetlands of international importance issued by the Ramsar Convention, with this, India now has a total of 37 wetland sites of international importance. The surface area covered by these sites is now 1,067,939 hectares. Earlier only one wetland in Uttar Pradesh was in this list but now with the addition of 6 (Nawabganj, Parvati Agra, Saman, Samaspur, Sandi and Sarsainwar) wetland sites of Uttar Pradesh to the new list, this number has reached 7.
Wetlands provide a wide range of critical resources and ecosystem services such as food, water, groundwater recharge, water purification, flood moderation, erosion control and climate regulation. They are, in fact, a major source of water and our main supply of fresh water comes from a pattern of wetlands that help soak up rain and recharge groundwater. Migratory birds are very fond of all these wetlands for their temporary habitats.
On this occasion, Shri Anil Kumar Pandey, Dr Rajani Srivastava and Mr Vijay Krishna, teachers of M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences and Technology at RGSC, gave their views. Vindhya Bachao co-founder Mr Shivkumar Upadhyay (senior journalist) also met the students and shared his views with them.