From Sirpur Lake to the World: A Milestone in India’s Wetlands Conservation Journey

02 Feb, 2024

Indore is renowned as India's cleanest city and home to two Ramsar sites: Sirpur Lake and Yashwant Sagar Lake, symbols of its dedication to preserving natural beauty and fostering conservation. 
On 2 February, India proudly hosted the spotlight on World Wetlands Day at the bank of Sirpur Lake. The occasion was graced by distinguished guests from the Ramsar Convention's Secretariat, including Secretary General Dr. Musonda Mumba and Senior Advisor for Asia Dr. Beom Sik Yoo. 
But what truly stole the spotlight was India's journey, beautifully showcased through exhibitions and presentations. From the ambitious Amrit Dharohar initiative to the grassroots efforts of the Save Wetlands Campaign, every initiative underscored the nation's unwavering resolve to safeguard its ecological heritage. The BMUV-IKI ‘Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection Project’ has consistently supported these advancing wetland conservation and management efforts. 
During the event, significant milestones were achieved, including the release of revised guidelines for the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (NPCA). Another key highlight was the release of the project publication ‘Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool – Practitioner’s Guide’ It is set to be scaled for use across partner states through practical regional workshops, supporting the national wetland monitoring practices. These tools promise to empower conservationists and enhance wetland monitoring practices.  
In addition, a series of educational videos developed and launched to sensitise students on the importance of wetlands conservation. It was a joint effort by MoEF&CC, Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET) and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). 
Another notable highlight was the launch of the travel series ‘Wetlands for LiFE Film Festival and Forum' from 3-5 February. This event was hosted by the Centre for Media Studies and supported by the MoEF&CC and GIZ, served as a vibrant platform for citizen engagement. 
During the launch of the festival, Secretary General Dr. Musonda Mumba, in her address, captured the essence of India's wetlands, saying, "The magic of India is its history, its culture, its millennia of cultural stories, the stories of the ponds, the stories of the birds, the folklore. And that's where the magic comes in. You wake up, you start to film your daily activity, document it, share it with the world, and that for me is the magic of film." - this profound sentiment resonated deeply with attendees, reinforcing the importance of storytelling and the power of film in capturing the essence of India's wetlands and their conservation. 
The festival featured an array of wetland-themed films, engaging competitions, enlightening panel discussions, and immersive social impact filmmaking workshops. Particularly noteworthy were the workshops, which focused on participatory videography, empowering local participants to effectively communicate the importance of wetlands to the public. 
Through this initiative, the project aims to cultivate a strong network of wetland stewards across the nation. Additionally, it will conduct media consultations to equip regional and national media representatives with the necessary knowledge and tools for accurate reporting on wetland conservation issues. 
 During her address, Dr. Mumba also commended the GIZ Wetlands Project for its instrumental role in elevating the discourse on wetlands and integrating it into India's socio-cultural fabric. She expressed optimism for continued collaboration with the Ramsar Convention, anticipating future joint endeavours that will further advance wetland conservation efforts.  
The endeavours surrounding World Wetlands Day have been made possible through the support and participation of a wide array of partners. Moving forward with the spirit of #Sahbhagita, the project is committed to continuing work towards effective wetlands management and their wise use, leveraging the momentum generated to further drive our conservation efforts. 
Exhibition Pavilion by MoEF&CC features Wetland Conservation timeline, info desk, and interactive activities |©GIZIndia/Tanbir Azmi 
Inaugural of the Wetlands for LiFE Film Festival and Forum | @GIZIndia | Tanbir Azmi 

Discussion during the Wetlands for LiFE Film Festival and Forum |© CMS  




About the project

The Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection project aims to strengthen the institutional framework and capacities for an ecosystem-based integrated management of wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites) in India. The project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in close cooperation with the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (NPCA). This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag. Read More

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