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World Wetlands Day 2024

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Shri Bhalu Mondhe (Padma Shri), co-founder TNV, Indore was felicitated on World Wetlands Day, by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Dr Mohan Yadav, during the main function of the day at Sirpur for his unstinted support and selfless work for saving the Sirpur wetland. The octogenarian nature photographer and artist spent close to 40 years raising awareness through various programmes and events, around the urban wetland.

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Dr Musonda Mumba, Secretary General of Ramsar Convention,

Geneva, Switzerland tweeted on X (formerly Twitter)

praising Shri Bhalu Mondhe for his immense work for wetlands

and the environment.

World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year by the Ramsar Secretariat, Geneva, across the globe. Ramsar Convention came into being in 1971 and over 171 countries are signatories to the Ramsar Treaty. Ramsar is a place in Iran where many environmentalists, worried over the future of wetlands, had gathered several decades ago to roll out a charter for saving lakes, peatlands, mangroves, rivers and small ponds which support many birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians etc. Lakes and rivers also play a crucial role in providing water security and valuable ecological services to the community.

 This year the venue was Indore and in particular, the Sirpur wetland, declared as Ramsar Site in August 2022, along with Yeshwant Sagar of Indore.

 Madhya Pradesh has four Ramsar-designated sites, the other two being, Bhopal's Upper Lake and Sankhya Sagar, Shivpuri.

Dr Musonda Mumba, Secretary General of Ramsar Convention, Geneva, Switzerland was in Indore for the World Wetlands Day functions on 2nd Feb 2024. She spent three days in Indore and visited Sirpur and Yeshwant Sagar, both Ramsar Sites and expressed her satisfaction at the conservation efforts done by the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC). It was her first visit to India and Indore. In her words, “she was blown over to see the rich biodiversity of India as well as to meet interesting people here.”

Sirpur has been conserved by The Nature Volunteers Society over 40 years of sustained efforts. It is an urban lake fighting for its survival. It is a beautiful bird habitat of Central India. Of course, more scientific conservation efforts are required to save the lake from being degraded. 

Since most of the world wetlands are under stress, the Ramsar tag to any selected wetland, raises hopes, that with new protocols in place, authorities and society would go the extra mile to protect such natural assets.

 If wetlands perish, humans would also be pushed towards the brink of collapse.

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