Manipur observes World Wetlands Day
LAMPHELPAT — Amid the ongoing ethnic conflict, Manipur observed World Wetlands Day by organising various events on Friday, in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of wetlands in maintaining the ecosystem.
The Directorate of Environment and Climate Change organised the State-level World Wetlands Day on the theme “Wetlands and Human Well Being,” at Lamphelpat, on the outskirts of Imphal.
Forest and Environment minister Thongam Biswajit Singh, Water Resource minister Awangbow Newmai, Additional Chief Secretary (Forest and Environment) MH Khan, Director of Directorate of Environment and Climate Change Dr. T Brajakumar, senior officials of various departments, and students and teachers from various educational institutions attended the programme.
Speaking on the occasion, Biswajit called upon the public to act collectively towards protecting the wetlands.
“We all have the responsibility to take care of our environment and one important thing is our wetlands,” said Newmai, adding: “Many wetlands are vanishing and the government is trying to restore them.”
Manipur is home to a number of wetlands, covering 1.65 per cent of the State’s total geographical area, as per a report on Land Use Survey Project on Manipur, State Remote Sensing Centre.
According to Dr. Brajakumar, brief documentation has been prepared for 23 wetlands including Ramsar Site (Loktak Lake), while seven wetlands — Pumlen Pat, Ikop Pat, Waithou-Phumnom Pat, Utra Pat, Yaral Pat, JaimengPat and Kachoupung Pat — had been recommended for notification as State Wetland.
An on-the-spot painting and photography competitions were held as part of the occasion and the winners were awarded with cash prizes and certificates. A photo exhibition on wetlands and migratory birds was also organised.
The Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, Manipur University also observed World Wetlands Day at the varsity with the Vice Chancellor and the faculty.
World Wetlands Day is observed every year on February 2 to mark the adoption of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1971.