India: Workshop on Management of Wetlands Through Integrated Management Planning
The Chilika Development Authority organized a workshop for lake and wetland site managers in India in collaboration with LakeNet, a global network of lake management practitioners, on 9-10 January 2004 in Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
Made possible with a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the two-day workshop included presentations by wetland site managers, discussions on wetland management topics and a field trip to a bird sanctuary and lake education center on Chilika Lake. Managers of wetlands and experts from various states of India and also the office bearers of Lake Net USA, participated in the workshop. The Principal Secretary, Forest and Environment Department, Government of Orissa, inaugurated and participated in the workshop.
The more than 35 participants at the workshop included site managers from ten lake and wetland sites which have been designated as wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention or are sites recognized in India for their immense ecological importance and socio-economic value. In total, 19 Ramsar Sites have been designated in India. As the pressures on these and other important lake wetland sites continue to increase, the need for conservation and promotion of ‘wise use’ requires immediate attention. Many of the sites have not yet developed integrated management plans while others have ample room for improvement.
The participants decided to establish a network of the site mangers to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information through an e-Forum and to promote better management of the wetlands. Prior to the workshop, a national network for lake and wetland managers did not exist in India. CDA agreed to serve as the secretariat for the India network and as the liaison to LakeNet's global network.
Representatives of the Chilika Development Authority and the Bhoj Wetland Project are leading the way to establish better networking and information sharing in India in order to improve lake and wetland management. Both lakes are also included among the 28 lakes in the GEF grant-funded initiative to document lessons learned and share experience in lake basin management.
Developing long-term, integrated management plans for wetlands in India through the use of tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing technologies was among the topics discussed at the workshop. The participants also reviewed the guidelines for integrated wetland management adopted at the Ramsar COP-8 meeting in Valencia, Spain in November 2002 and discussed ways in which these were applicable to their own situations. An important aim of the workshop was to establish a mechanism for networking within India, connected to a global network, so that wetland site managers can share experiences and lessons learned. In addition to creating the national network, recommendations of the workshop included: 1. States to undertake short-term strategic plans and long-term integrated management plans for wetlands adapting the management planning guidelines of Ramsar Bureau; 2. Wetland development authorities need to be set-up for effective management in all the states as in the case of Chilika and Loktak; 3. Remote sensing and GIS need to be used as a management tool; 4. Minimum conservation pool level and the environmental flow assessment to maintain the ecological integrity of the wetland ecosystem must be maintained; 5. Stakeholder participation in management has to be ensured right from the start.
- National workshop held in Bhubaneswar, India on integrated management of lakes and wetlands
The following organizations are participating in this
to World Lake Basin Management Initiative
to USAID-funded Technical Assistance