Govt plans study of wetlands in 22 districtsThe Department of Forests (DoF) is planning to conduct a detailed study to identify, map and categorise wetlands located in 22 districts in the far-western, mid-western and western regions.
The Department of Forests (DoF) is planning to conduct a detailed study to identify, map and categorise wetlands located in 22 districts in the far-western, mid-western and western regions.
Considering the importance of water bodies present in the form of swamps, marshes, lakes and ponds in human life and biodiversity conservation, the DoF under the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation has published a call for Expression of Interest from interested consultants to carry out the study of potential wetlands of national and international importance.
“The identification of new and monitoring of existing wetlands is crucial for formulating programmes on proper conservation and management of wetlands that provide numerous benefits for people, wildlife and aquatic life,” said DoF Director General Resham Dangi. The National Wetland Policy 2012 stipulates for sustainable utilisation and management of existing wetlands and identification of new wetlands across the country.
According to the DoF, the study is expected to come up with detailed information about the wetlands, including their status, importance and their contribution towards humankind. Wetlands occupy only about six percent of the total area in the country and are thousands in number ranging from swamp to lakes and reservoirs. The newly identified wetlands are supposed to be categorised depending on their area of location—wetlands in public forests, community forests and in places managed by the local government authorities, among others. Despite the important role wetlands play in human development and healthy biodiversity, these water bodies are lacking adequate attention and conservation measures, resulting in their disappearance at an alarming rate across the country in the recent years.
In an effort to protect wetlands from degradation and encroachment, the government with support from the Global Environment Facility and United Nations Development Programme had launched a five-year project on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands in Nepal (CSUWN) between 2008 and 2013.