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Wetland Conservation – A Climate Change Response

Submitted by T V Gopal (Head - CSR)

Wetland Conservation – A Climate Change Response

“Low hanging fruit for achieving mitigation milestones”

 

The annual celebration of World Wetlands Day is a wonderful opportunity to remind ourselves of our duty to protect and preserve the dwindling wetlands in our country. It has always been a challenge to strike a balance between the environment and the development and as is known, the latter is seen to be a sure winner in the battle. Since it is at the cost of our environment, I deem it a pyrrhic victory. We always become wise after the event.

Be that as it may, wetland conservation has now become an imperative, especially in an urban environment. The significance of wetland cannot be over-emphasized, for, it is an important groundwater recharging source, particularly for a city like Chennai. Furthermore, it is a flood regulator besides being a sanctuary, if I may say so, for a variety of birds and other species.

It is not out of place to mention here that WABAG launched an integrated program for building capacities for wetland management among the various stakeholders, followed by wetland restoration of Narayanapuram Wetland in close proximity to our corporate headquarters at Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Today, with increased water holding capacity, the wetland has become an important groundwater source for the neighborhood.

It is a good augury that the Govt. of Tamil Nadu chose to set up a State Wetland Authority which goes to show the utmost importance that is being accorded to the cause of environment.

Despite the aforesaid benefits, I find there is lack of awareness on the importance of wetland conservation among the public, nay, even some of the elite sections of the society. It is therefore urgent and necessary to create an awareness in the first place in the minds of the public.

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