Govt Admits Neglect Of Wetlands As Public Goods

Conservation isn’t Govt responsibility alone – Bhupender Yadav

Mission LiFE is critical for nudging people for conserving wetlands, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change  Bhupender Yadav said

IMPHAL, Apr 30 (The CONNECT) - Wetlands often get neglected as public goods, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change  Bhupender Yadav has admitted.

“The entire society needs to come together to protect these ecosystems”, he said addressing a two-day regional consultative workshop for the restoration and integrated management of wetlands for the North-eastern states here.

Inaugurating the workshop yesterday, Yadav also emphasised that “change in personal behaviours is the most important aspect if we have to conserve the wetlands. Mission LiFE is critical for nudging people for conserving wetlands”.

He mentioned that the conservation of wetlands cannot be the government's responsibility alone. Wetlands are essentially societal assets, with governments acting as a trustee of these assets on behalf of the citizens of India.  Unless the entire society participates and partners in wetlands conservation, tangible change cannot be achieved, he added.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change organised The workshop is fourth in the series of regional workshops (previously held in Srinagar, Goa, and Kochi) under Mission Sahbhagita.

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Quick Comment: For a long time, NatConnect Foundation along with fellow environment focused organisations has been campaigning for the protection of wetlands. We have also been complaining to all – from the PM to the environment minister about the gross neglect of wetlands and ignorance on part of the officials in0charge of the environmental protection. We are happy that at least the government has now admitted the neglect and hope that the minister and the department to move beyond public speeches. In this speech, Minister Yadav also admits that the public good are neglected! Very sad state of affairs!

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The Sahbhagita mission aims to conserve and effectively manage a network of 75 wetlands of national and international importance in the country with an all-inclusive ‘whole of society’ and ‘whole of government’ approach.

Yadav interacted with the site managers and the State Wetland Authorities (SWAs) of the North-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura, to understand the priorities and challenges of wetlands conservation at their respective states/sites. The Union Minister emphasised that wise use of wetlands aligned with its natural ecology is critical for survival of these ecosystems. Highlighting the importance of multi-stakeholder approach Yadav said “different agencies should come together and collaborate for wetlands conservation”.