In a recent move by the Tamil Nadu State Wetland Authority notifying a 100 wetlands as “priority wetlands”, wetland conservation has received a big boost in the state. Almost 40 percent of Indian wetlands, excluding the vast network of rivers, have been lost in the last four decades. The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change issued a notification to the states a couple of years ago, to constitute wetland authorities of conservation in each state, which resulted in the inception of the State Wetland Authority, who has in turn, authorized Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History(SACON) to identify and shortlist the wetlands in Tamil Nadu. Conservationists have expressed concern about the vanishing wetlands in the country, due to various man-made as well as natural reasons.  New rules on wetland conservation have replaced the earlier rules, with effect from 2017. The new rule, while conferring protected status to the wetlands, should be systematic in their approach to solutions for wetland conservation, even if they are outside the initial 100 earmarked for the drive. Core issues affecting most wetlands, both rural and urban, like silting and lack of maintenance, choking due to pollution of plastic, toxic waste and debris dumping have to be dealt on a priority basis, while monitoring the existence and health of all existing wetlands nationwide.


—As reported by Mongabay,

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