Our Wetlands

WITHOUT water we cannot imagine a world. We are all aware that water plays a pivotal role in the sustenance of life. But very few are worried about the wetlands devastation and it is main source of freshwater. Only 2.5 % of water is freshwater mostly stored in glaciers and only 1 % of water is stored only in the forms of rivers, ponds, stream, lakes, marshes and estuaries etc. Wetlands can be saltwater or freshwater, inland or coastal natural or human made. Freshwater wetlands include rivers, lakes, pools, floodplains, marshes, swamps. Saltwater includes estuaries, saltwater marshes, mangroves, lagoons, coral reefs. Human made wetlands include fishponds, reservoir etc. By 2050 our global population is expected by 10 billion so that 70% more food and 14% more water for agriculture is required for sustainable development. Nearly 75% of natural disasters are water related.

World Wetland Day is observed to raise awareness about the importance of wetlands for people and our planet

Water insecurity is causing threat to nearly 45 countries around the world and millions of people's life is in threat due to floods, saltmarsh and seagross loss. Millions have lost their lives by floods and droughts in 20 years causing havoc economic damage. World Wetland Day also pinpoints the signing of Ramsar Convention on wetlands. India has 42 Ramsar Wetlands sites. Ladakh's Tso Kar Wetland is added in previous year. The ecology of these sites is preserved under the convention across the globe. The selfless service to nature of few Indians are really commendable and praiseworthy in saving the mother earth. Our wetlands are primary source of water cycle, flood control and water supply and dealing with climate change.

Preserving Wetlands is our primary concern in saving the life cycle of our earth. Our motherland needs humanitarian service from individual and society. Our wetlands require less salinization, water pollution and excessive development. We are in water crisis with severe concern about ecosystem and our wetlands serve the purpose of gratification. Millions and millions of water are consumed daily and by the increase of global population we require more and more water for the billions of people around the globe. Our increasing demands of fresh water putting extra pressure on these wetlands which are enormously getting polluted by man-made hazards and by the release of harmful chemicals, plastic and toxic elements in our fresh water resources.

People struggle to drink safe water and getting effected by waterborne disease easily. Our freshwater sources are getting diminished day to day due to human interference in our natural resources . They are getting polluted and depleted very easily raising our sincere care and utmost attention is the demand of the hour. Rainwater harvesting, storing and filtering when it is needed can be better available options for the people. These Wetlands are the constant source of freshwater which are constantly getting contaminated by our irrational behaviour and recklessness. India being a agriculture based country needs these water for irrigation, energy production and maintaining the natural earth cycle.

Water dependence is separable for 40% world species depending on wetlands which we have to preserve for present and future water. Efficient and proper use of wetlands can be managed effectively. Industrial sectors must minimize the use of water and release of toxic elements upto limited extent. Our aim should be to minimise the use of fresh and usable water for future use and priority would be in restoring wetlands. Our collective responsibilities is in saving water and conserving wetlands. Stringent government steps and investment are required in preserving our natural solutions for water management in making a green economy. On the 50th anniversary year of the Ramsar Convention of wetlands our aim of capturing and storing rainwater and groundwater, regularizing water quantity and supply by releasing water at right time and right place and improving water quality by removing and absorbing pollutants. Our wetlands provide us seafood like fish and 40% of world species live in wetlands with 200 new fish species discovered in freshwater.

Muneer Shamee

[email protected]

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