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Launch of ‘Wetlands of India’ Portal

  • IASbaba
  • October 4, 2021
  • 0
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Launch of ‘Wetlands of India’ Portal

Part of: GS-Prelims and Mains GS-III: Environment and Conservation

Context: On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti and heralding the Iconic Week of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav of MoEFCC (4-10th October 2021), a web portal – ‘Wetlands of India Portal’ (http://indianwetlands.in/), giving details on wetlands of the country, was launched by the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

  • The portal is a single point access to all information relating to wetlands – capacity building material, data repository, videos and and information for students. 
  • A dashboard for each State and UT has been developed to access the portal and populate it with information of wetlands in their administration.
  • The project is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) under the International Climate Initiative (IKI).

Important value additions

Wetlands

  • They are highly productive ecosystems that provide the world with nearly two-thirds of its fish harvest.
  • They play an integral role in the ecology of the watershed. 
  • They  provide an ideal environment for organisms that form the base of the food web and feed many species of aquatic animals.
  • They help in carbon sequestration (removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere).
  • They provide habitat for animals and plants and support plants and animals that are found nowhere else.
  • They are also an important source of ground water recharge.

There are six kinds of wetlands:

  1. Marine or coastal wetlands which include coastal lagoons, rocky shores, and coral reefs
  2. Estuarine wetlands including deltas, tidal marshes and mangrove swamps
  3. Lacustrine wetlands associated with lakes
  4. Riverine wetlands along rivers and streams
  5. Palustrine wetlands, essentially marshes, swamps and bogs
  6. Man-made wetlands like fish, shrimp and farm ponds, irrigated agricultural land, salt pans, reservoirs, gravel pits and canals.

Threats to Wetlands

  • Urbanization
  • Agriculture: Construction of a large number of reservoirs, canals and dams have altered the hydrology of the associated wetlands.
  • Pollution: Due to mercury from industrial sources 
  • Climate Change: Increased air temperature; increased frequency of storms, droughts, and floods; increased sea level rise 
  • Dredging and sand miningDredging of streams lowers the surrounding water table and dries up adjacent wetlands.
  • Exotic Species: Exotic introduced plant species such as water hyacinth and salvinia clog waterways and compete with native vegetation.

News Source: PIB

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