J&K government launches wetland awareness campaign

In an effort to preserve the wetlands, Jammu and Kashmir government along with NGO Wildlife Conservation Fund has launched a wetland awareness campaign in of the state for the youths.
The campaign commenced on the World Wetland Day, which is celebrated on February 2 every year to mark the day the convention on wetlands was adopted in Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971.
The programme started as a part of the government efforts to preserve wetlands after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court ordered to conserve 1,230 wetlands in the state.
Advocate Nadeem Qadri, who has been appointed as ‘amicus curiae’ in the wetland conservation programme by the High Court, said: “We are getting a great response from the youths.”
“After the High Court order to preserve 1,230 wetland in the state, I am assisting the court. At present, we are finding a way to preserve the wetlands.”
The authorities have invited environment experts, documentary filmmakers, photographers, and nature-loving youths to participate.
“The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about the vital role of healthy wetlands in reducing the impact of extreme events on communities and in helping to build resilience,” he said.
“This campaign is being organised to aware the people, in particular, the youths, about the importance of natural resources. We are using it as an opportunity to boost eco-tourism, which will provide employment to the locals,” said Suhail, Range Officer, Wildlife.
“This kind of campaign is essential to prevent the poaching of the migratory birds which suffers the most with the reduction of the wetland,” he said.
In February 2017, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to preserve over two lakh wetlands by inventorising them and asked the states to provide details too.
Jammu and Kashmir High Court in its August 2017 landmark decision had directed the government to demarcate the wetlands and take measures to conserve water bodies in the Valley. The court also ordered immediate demarcation of wildlife forests, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation reserves by the concerned authority.

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