CEESP News - by Dr Hishmi Jamil Husain, Head, Environment & Forest Management, Tata Steel Ltd.
Today`s current development of human settlements is a major concern for wetland conservation. The city of Jamshedpur in the east Indian state of Jharkhand, India, is also on the journey towards being one of the developed cities of the world. On this journey, the city is losing its natural wetlands. These wetlands are being destroyed to make buildings and houses. To make the public as well as school children of Jamshedpur aware of this crisis, Tata Zoo with Raw Material Strategy Group organized a program to celebrate World Wetlands Day.
The world’s urban population is increasing by 2.4% each year, and the number of mega cities with more than ten million inhabitants will jump from 31 to 41 by 2030 as per the literature.
Every year on 2nd February, World Wetlands Day is celebrated all over the world to make aware the public, discus the value of wetlands, its beneficial aspects as well as to promote its conservation and use for enhancing the overall level of the human health, growth and development. On this historical day in the year 1971, Convention on Wetlands was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of Caspian Sea.
As cities grow and the demand for land increases, the tendency is to encroach on wetlands, which lead to decreasing of surface area of wetlands and subsequently all other uses. Urban wetlands make cities livable in many important ways like reduce flooding, replenish drinking water, filter waste, provide urban green spaces, and are a source of livelihoods too.
The main purpose of the program to celebrate World Wetlands Day was to spread the message of wetland conservation and its importance in human life to the audience present. Awareness talk on the importance of Water and Wetlands was delivered by Dr. Hishmi Jamil Husain, Head, Environment and Forest Management, Tata Steel Ltd. and a film at Nature education centre on the theme “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future” was shown. Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalya participated in this celebration. 50 students and 5 teachers participated in the celebration.