February 2, 2015

Odisha Channel Bureau Bhubaneswar, Feb 2: Comprehensive management plans for as many as 17 important wetlands of Odisha are under preparation by the Odisha Wetland Development Authority, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said here today.The services of Wetlands International are commissioned by the Odisha Wetland Development Authority for formulation of comprehensive management plans of important wetlands of the State, Patnaik said.wetland-chilikaAddressing a meeting organised by the Chilika Development Authority to observe the World Wetlands Day, Patnaik said that Odisha is the first State in the country to constitute Odisha Wetland Development Authority for conservation and sustainable management of the wetlands of the state.“This is a testimony of Government of Odisha’s commitment for conservation of wetlands,” he claimed.Stating that good governance and policy support is essential for effective management of the wetlands, Patnaik said that necessary funding support is being provided to the OWDA for implementation of the management plans from the State budget.The Chief Minister said that wetlands are indispensable for the host of ecosystem services that they provide to humanity, ranging from fresh water supply, food and building materials, and biodiversity, to flood control, ground water recharge and climate change mitigation.Successful restoration of Chilika Lake is a perfect example of how the restoration of a wetland with most appropriate strategy can not only restore the ecosystem of the wetland, but also, can contribute significantly towards the improvement of livelihood of local communities due to increase in the productivity, Patnaik added.“It is heartening to learn that other states are emulating the model of Odisha for restoration and management of wetlands,” he observed.The state-of-the-art Wetland Research and Training Centre, established by Chilika Development Authority, is going to be recognised as a centre of excellence by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Patnaik said.“It is emerging as an excellent platform for the wetland scientists, researchers to carry out research on the wetland ecosystem and also for the capacity building of the wetland managers from India and abroad.” The Chief Minister also inaugurated an exhibition of painting and drawings that were collected during drawing and painting competitions conducted among the students in the schools in and around Chilika on the theme `Wetlands for our future’ to generate interest and garner support from young minds on wetland conservation and awareness.He congratulated all the winners and students for their active participation in this awareness programme for the cause of wetland conservation.Minister for Forest & Environment Bikram Keshari Arukha, Minister for Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Sanjay Das Burma, Development Commissioner U.N.Behera, ex-Director of Zoological Survey of India A.K.Ghosh and Chief Executive of Chilika Development Authority Ajit Kumar Patnaik also spoke on the occasion.

February 2, 2015 0 Comment