A dedicated Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM) has been established at the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management(NCSCM), Chennai, an institution under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. This was announced by the Minister of State for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Babul Supriyo on the occasion of World Wetland Day on 2nd February 2021.
As per a Press Information Bureau press release, CWCM will address specific research needs and knowledge gaps to address wetlands and their management, bring capacity development and cutting-edge research to wetlands in India, and help apply integrated approaches for conservation, management, and wise use of India’s 42 globally-significant ‘Ramsar’ wetland sites.
India is home to 42 wetlands of international importance, also known as Ramsar sites, spanning 15.26 million hectares. 2021 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the sign ing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971 in Ramsar, Iran, which is celebrated annually as “World Wetlands Day” on 2 February. Ramsar sites are wetlands designated to be of global importance under the Ramsar Convention, also known as the (international) Convention on Wetlands. The intergovernmental Ramsar treaty was established in 1971 by UNESCO.
The newly-established CWCM will support partnerships and networks with national and international agencies that work on wetlands, according to the release. It will allegedly also act as a knowledge hub and facilitate exchanges between States and Union Territory Wetland authorities, users, managers, researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners. The Centre will also help national and State/UT governments plan, monitor, design and implement policy and regulations, as well as carry out targeted research for effective conservation strategies.