HIMACHAL PRADESH STATE WETLAND AUTHORITY
(HPSWA)
 
 
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      Introduction of Wetland
Wetlands are important features in the landscape that provide numerous beneficial services for people, wildlife and aquatic species. Some of these services, or functions, include protecting and improving water quality, providing fish and wildlife habitats, storing floodwaters and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods. These valuable functions are the result of the unique natural characteristics of wetlands.Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rain forests and coral reefs. An immense variety of species of microbes, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish and mammals can be part of a wetland ecosystem. Climate, landscape shape (topo Iogy), geo Iogy and the movement and abundance of water help to determine the plants and animals that inhabit each wetland.The complex, dynam ic relationsh ips among the organisms inhabiting the wetland environment are called food webs. Wetlands can be thought of as "biological supermarkets." Ramsar convention defined wetlands as “areas of marsh, fen, peat land or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, bracI‹ish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres”. These include estuaries, deltas, bogs, streams, ponds, reservoirs etc.  
     
  Himachal Pradesh encompasses a wide variety of wetlands, spread in various ecological zones which are the source of livelihood for the local community and have immense aesthetic & tourism values. Presently, the State has three "Ramsar Sites- Wetlands of International Importance” namely Pong dam ( Ifangra J, Renul‹a (Sirmaur and Chandertal (Lahaul & SpitiJ. Besides, Rewalsar (Mandi) and Ifhajjiar (Chamba) have also been included by the Ministry of Environment Forests & Climate Change, Govt. of India for its conservation and management. The Himachal Pradesh State Wetland Authority (HPSWA) constituted in the year 2017 under the aegis of H.P. Council for Science, Technology & Environment (HIMCOSTE) is acting as a nodal agency to coordinate the Wetland Conservation Programine with the active participation of all the stakeholders. Planning and implementation is being done I‹eeping in view the requirement of multi disciplinary approach, various Departments and Agencies such as Forests, Fisheries, Tourism, Industries, H P Environment Protection and PoIIution ControI Board, Universities, Zoological Survey of India. National & State level research institutes are also actively involved in the Wetland Conservation Programme.  
     
  The core objective of the Wetland Conservation Programme is to conserve and restore wetlands with the active participation of the local community at the planning, implementation and monitoring level. Beside this the broad objectives laid down in the Management Plan are to conserve and to restore the habitats for migratory & resident species of birds of the area ,to conserve the indigenous fish species and make fishery, sustainable livelihood for the local fishermen, to harmonize the relation between fishermen, wildlife and farmers, to enhance the income of the local people by undertaI‹ing the income generation in potential area, propagation of eco-tourism in the area to generate employment, to maI‹e the tourists more sensitive towards the values of nature & wetlands. participation of all the stakeholders. Planning and implementation is being done I‹eeping in view the requirement of multi disciplinary approach, various Departments and Agencies such as Forests, Fisheries, Tourism, Industries, H P Environment Protection and PoIIution ControI Board, Universities, Zoological Survey of India. National & State level research institutes are also actively involved in the Wetland Conservation Programme. The core objective of the Wetland Conservation Programme is to conserve and restore wetlands with the active participation of the local community at the planning, implementation and monitoring level. Beside this the broad objectives laid down in the Management Plan are to conserve and to restore the habitats for migratory & resident species of birds of the area ,to conserve the i ndigen ous fish spec ies and make fishe ry, sustainable livelihood for the local fishermen, to harmonize the relation between fishermen, wildlife and farmers, to enhance the income of the local people by undertaI‹ing the income generation in potential area, propagation of eco-tourism in the area to generate employment, to maI‹e the tourists more sensitive towards the values of nature & wetlands.  
     
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