Profit with a Purpose: Private Sector steps up for Wetland Conservation and Management

31 Jan, 2024

Wetlands are powerhouses of biodiversity and essential for climate resilience. But did you know that businesses are now stepping up to protect these vital ecosystems? The India Wetland Coalition (IWC) was conceptualised and launched to enable business partnerships for wetland conservation, addressing the risk of nature loss and building resilience to climate change.

In this context, recently, on 31 January 2024, the BMUV-IKI project 'Wetlands Management for Biodiversity and Climate Protection' project in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) hosted a workshop in New Delhi on 'Private Sector Engagement for Wetland Management and Wise Use'


Delivering the keynote address, Dr Musonda Mumba, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands highlighted: “Nearly 60% of the world’s population live in cities and wetlands play a critical role in moderating the climatic conditions. Through ‘Public Private Partnership’, businesses can engage in cities towards maintaining a healthy wetland ecosystem for our wellbeing.”

The spotlight was on the innovative ways businesses are engaging in wetland conservation, with stories from companies leading the charge. These discussions aren't just about saving nature; they're about safeguarding business assets from natural risks and creating new growth opportunities. Experts dived deep into challenges and opportunities, discussing how wetlands protect business assets and why sustainability is the way forward. Group discussions resulted in the conceptualisation of a preliminary framework for private sector engagement for wetland conservation in India, paving the way for a brighter, greener future and demonstrating how profit and purpose can go hand in hand. As wetlands continue to gain recognition for their crucial role in conservation and societal wellbeing, initiatives like Mission Sahbhagita and Amrit Dharohar are driving an all-of-society approach, ensuring that wetlands are integrated into developmental plans at all levels.
Ms Taina Dyckhoff, Head of Division for the Environment & Climate, German Embassy 
(New Delhi) and Dr Sujit Kumar Bajpayee, Joint Secretary, MoEF&CC inaugurated the 
workshop | Photo credit: GIZ India

 Best practices highlighted by participants:

  • DCM Shriram Foundation: With efforts to stabilize groundwater levels and ensure perennial flow in the Sai River, this foundation has been working with communities in Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh, towards pond rejuvenation, desilting, and spreading awareness of the importance of wetland conservation through the celebration of the annual Sai Utsav Festival.
  • TVS Motor Company: The water conservation initiatives, in terms of the various rainwater harvesting methods deployed at their project sites, have not only made considerable positive  impacts on their operations by making them self-sufficient in terms of water requirements but also contributed to improving the biodiversity of the surrounding areas.
  • Hindustan Zinc Limited: In a unique 'Public-Private Partnership' in Rajasthan, the construction of a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) in Udaipur by Hindustan Zinc Limited has reduced the dependency on and consumption of freshwater by 85% at its industrial complex operation, maintained the ecological stability of local lakes, and generated manure from residual sludge for use by local farmers.
  • Apollo Tyres Ltd.: Under the mangrove conservation project in Kannur, Kerala, Apollo Tyres Ltd. has restored 10 acres of degraded mangrove area, developed mangrove nurseries, and an interpretation centre for mangrove-based nature education, promoting community-based initiatives, enhancing public awareness, and linking mangrove protection to sustainable livelihoods.

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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