The Ministry of Environment has notified the new Wetland Conservation Rules that prohibit setting up or expansion of industries, and disposal of construction and demolition waste within the wetlands. The ministry has also directed that each state and Union Territory will have to set up an authority that will define strategies for conservation and wise use of wetlands within their jurisdiction.

What is Wetland?

All those submerged areas either permanent or seasonal, are called wetlands. Natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, full-time wet or short-lived, stagnant water or unstable water, clean water or unhygienic, saline, muddy water - all these types of areas come under wetland. Each wetland has its own ecosystem. There is different biodiversity and botanical diversity can be seen in these wetlands. These wetlands are habitats for aquatic animals, birds, etc.

Key Highlights

• As per the government’s notification, the wetland authority will publish a list of all wetlands situated in the States or UTs within three months from the date of publication of these rules.

• A wetland authority will prepare a comprehensive list of activities for wetlands. This list will have permitted and regulated activities within the notified wetlands and their zone of influence.

• According to the government notification, wetland authority will recommend mechanisms for preservation of ecological qualities of the area through promotional activities for land within the boundary of notified wetlands.

• Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has also launched a web portal for sharing information regarding the implementation of Wetlands Rules.

• All state governments and central government will have to upload relevant documents and information on this web portal.

National Wetland Management Committee

The National Wetland Management Committee was formed in 1987.

The functions of this committee are as follows:

• To create a policy related to Wetland, to guide the conservation, management, and research of Wetland.

• Selecting a Wetland for Conservation.

• Reviewing the implementation of programs.

• To advise the preparation of disinvestment inventory over Indian Wetland.

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