A two day State level stakeholders’ meeting under the aegis of Wetlands International South Asia and Bombay Natural History Society concluded here today. The meeting was conducted under the project ‘Conservation and wise use of five wetlands in three Himalayan states to secure habitats of birds migrating within the central Asian flyway‘ funded by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change under National Mission for Himalayan Studies (NMHS).
This meeting will develop strategies and recommendations that can guide policy and decision-making at various levels, from local to national, to ensure the effective conservation and wise use of wetlands in the Central Asian Flyway. It is also aimed to foster partnerships and collaborations among stakeholders, including government agencies, civil society organizations, private sector, and local communities, to ensure a coordinated and effective approach to wetland conservation in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
On the first day, Rahul Khot, Deputy Director BNHS, welcomed all the stakeholders and explained the importance of the Central Asian Flyway.
Sat Pal Dhiman, Joint Member Secretary, HIMCOSTE delivered the special address and highlighted the efforts of the State Government towards conservation of the wetlands in Himachal.
Dr. Anil Thakur, APCCF (Wildlife) HPFD delivered the keynote address and highlighted the importance of Pong Dam Lake for the Bar-headed geese migration besides stressing on the need for the formulation of integrated management plans for Pong Dam Lake and Gobind Sagar Lake. He also chaired the second roundtable that dealt with building cross-sectoral convergence for conservation of important state wetland. It was moderated by Arghya Chakrabarty, Technical Officer of the Wetlands International South Asia.
Dhruv Verma, Senior Technical officer, Wetlands International South Asia, shared the project overview and explained the objectives of the meeting.
The topic for the first roundtable dealt with bridging science-policy action divide to support integrated management chaired by Sat Pal Dhiman, Joint Member Secretary HIMCOSTE, moderated by Dr. Sathiya Selvam, Deputy Director Wetland and flyways programme BNHS.
Ravi Sharma, Scientific Officer, HP State Wetland Authority, highlighted wetland authorities’ work on management mechanism and objectives of wetland authority. He also discussed major challenges faced by the wetlands of Himachal Pradesh.
Dr. Anil Thakur, Associate Professor GWC explained the local diversity of plants and use of technological database for plant identification.
Dr Subrat Debta, Scientist A BNHS shared the information on bird migration studies in India.
The meeting was attended by nearly 40 representatives from 19 state government departments, regional knowledge institutions, civil society organizations and community-based organizations.