Marking the ongoing Swachhta Special Campaign 3.0, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in association with State/UT Wetland Authorities organised wetlands cleaning around different Amrit Dharohar sites i.e. Ramsar sites across the country.
Various activities such as cleanliness drives, removal of weeds, taking pledge to protect wetlands and registration of Wetland Mitras, were undertaken by State and UT Wetlands Authorities to spread mass awareness about the values and benefits of maintaining a healthy and clean wetland. This nation-wide event was conducted under the ‘Save Wetlands Campaign’ of the MoEF&CC.
Save Wetlands Campaign was launched by Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change as a “whole of society” approach for wetlands conservation on February 2, 2023, on the occasion of World Wetlands Day. It promises enabling affirmative actions for wetlands conservation at all levels of the society and involving all strata of the society. The campaign includes sensitising people of the value of wetlands, increasing the coverage of wetland mitras and building citizen partnerships for wetlands conservation.
This year’s theme for World Wetlands Day was also ‘Wetland Restoration’. The Swachhta Special Campaign 3.0 with its cleanliness drive also highlights the urgent need to prioritize wetland restoration. It is a call on an entire generation to take proactive action for wetlands, by investing financial, human and political capital to save the wetlands from disappearing and to revive and restore those that have been degraded.
Wetlands are a natural solution to the era-defining global threat of climate change. They absorb carbon dioxide so help slow global heating and reduce pollution, hence have often been referred to as the “Kidneys of the Earth”. Peatlands alone store twice as much carbon as all the world’s forests combined. But, when drained and destroyed, wetlands emit vast amounts of carbon.
Wetlands also provide a buffer against the impacts of floods, droughts, hurricanes and tsunamis, and build resilience to climate change.