33 wetlands in India are under threat.
33 Indian wetlands face moderate to very high threats to their ecology, according to a report by the environment ministry.
Wetlands are given threat scores between .91 or above for very high threats and .30 or below for very low threats.
The data on threat scores indicate that 11 wetlands are in very high threat category, 17 in high threat category, 25 in moderate threat category and 58 wetlands in low threat category, reported the Hindustan Times.
The report has been shared with states where these sites are located. There are five each of these wetlands in Delhi and Rajasthan, reported Hindustan Times.
The ministry said these wetlands require immediate attention and interventions. Wetland managers of these states have been called upon to Delhi on Dec. 20 for a one-day workshop to prepare integrated management plans, reported Hindustan Times.
The ministry has proposed to provide funds under the centrally-sponsored scheme of National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems (NPCA) to states for corrective action, according to a letter by Ravi Agrawal, additional secretary of ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC).
The 33 critical wetlands are situated in 19 states total. Three Delhi wetlands – Bhalswa Lake, Smritivan Lake and Smritivan Lake – are in the high threat category and the remaining two – Sanjay and Hauz Khas – are in the moderate threat category, according to the Hindustan Times.
In Rajasthan, Sambhar Lake faces high threat, and four others – Mansagar, Pichola, Fateh Sagar and Udai Sagar – face moderate threats.
The ministry shared the wetland ecosystem health assessment report with the states, which was organized into the following categories: physical regime change (adverse change in water quality and quantity, sediments and salinity); extraction (water, biota, soil and minerals); introduction (pollutants, invasive species); and structural modification of habitat (drainage, conversion into non-wetland use or encroachment).
“Of the identified wetlands taken up for study, there are about 30 which fall under the moderate to low ecosystem health and have moderate to very high threat,” said Agrawal in the letter. “These wetlands require immediate attention and interventions.”