There Is No Earth B
There Is No Earth B
Share

Once Upon A Wetland

Posted on

Event Information

Project Title: Once upon a Wetland

Date: 6-7 August 2022

Location: Virtual Event (Zoom)

Organizers: RE-PEAT, Youth Engaged in Wetlands, There Is No Earth B

Language(s): English, regional languages of speakers

Introduction

Wetlands provide ecosystem services, such as water purification, water storage, carbon storage, flood protection, and shoreline stabilization. According to recent assessments (de Groot et. al.,2012; Davidson et.al., 2019), wetlands are among the world’s most economically valuable ecosystems when compared to other ecosystems such as forests, grasslands and oceans.

Despite such high ecological and economical value provided by wetlands, Global Wetland Outlook published by the Ramsar Convention in 2018 pointed out that wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests. Wetlands need to be protected effectively for their ecosystem services, along with the implementation of conservation efforts at all levels, from policy-makers to local communities, including youth.

According to a WISA (Wetlands International South Asia) report, India has already lost about one-third of its natural wetlands over the last four decades. The degradation was attributed to rapid urbanization, industrial and agricultural expansion, and uncontrolled pollution. Despite being signatories of the Ramsar Convention, very little progress has been made on the conservation and wise use of wetlands. In fact, Indian wetlands are persistently exposed to anthropogenic pressures – including land-use changes in the catchment, pollution from households and industry, encroachments, tourism, and overexploitation of natural resources.

It has been observed that lack of good governance is the main challenge for wetland conservation by the states in India. From the National Wetland Atlas, India has 757,060 wetlands which account for 4.63% of the country’s geographical area. Due to this massive extent, a nationwide scale of wetland conservation and protection is called for. Community-driven efforts for wetland conservation have continuously shown significant results, however, their impacts seem relatively minuscule compared to developed state regulations and policy frameworks on wetlands.

In recent years, we witnessed the power of youth to call for actions to tackle environmental issues. We believe youth will play an important role in future mechanisms of wetland conservation, for they are energetic, adaptive, and innovative. In addition, as the future of the world will be led by our next generation, youth should be informed and engaged in the various facets of wetlands. Highlighting the benefits of wetlands, we aim to influence the youth, regardless of educational background, to rise up and care for wetlands before their deterioration reaches the point of no return.

To achieve the objectives of encouraging and strengthening youth engagement in wetland conservation and building capacity and connections between youth and environmental organizations, we are jointly organizing a youth forum concentrated on Indian wetlands. We are also seeking collaborations with other organizations, There Is No Earth B, focusing on nature and biodiversity to raise awareness for the involvement of youth in actionable movements to conserve wetlands.

Day 1

Date Session Themes
6th August
#1: General introduction to the wetland ecosystem for those who are new to the subject
#2: Community-led models of wetlands conservation
#3: The formulation of national policies for wetlands conservation and gaps in existing Indian policies
#4: The role of small wetlands, which are often neglected, in local ecological regulation
#5: A co-creative workshop to illustrate the use of art as a medium for activism
#6: The use of a socio-ecological approach in the formation of conservation policies, particularly, through an ecofeminist lens
#7: The benefits of spatial analysis on wetland ecosystems

Day 2 / Post-Forum Activities

Organizations like CCAG, FFF Andhra, TINEB. CCAG will be organizing a climate tour post-forum.

If you have ideas for other activities or projects, send us an e-mail!