Saturday October 19, 2019
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Wetlands Disappearing Faster Than Forests Due to Climate Change: Report

Authors of the report say biodiversity also is in a state of crisis. They say more than 25 percent of all wetlands plants and animals are at risk of extinction.

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A fisherman stands on his boat as he fishes at the Tisma lagoon wetland park, also designated as Ramsar Site 1141 in the Convention on Wetlands, in Tisma, Nicaragua. VOA

A new report warns that wetlands are disappearing three times faster than the world’s forests, with serious consequences for all life on earth due to climate change.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is a global treaty ratified in 1971 by 170 countries to protect wetlands, which are ecosystems inundated by water, such as swamps, bogs and floodplains.

Unfortunately, the goal of this treaty is under threat. Ramsar Convention officials report about 35 percent of the world’s wetlands have been lost between 1970 and 2015.

Climate
Wetlands. Wikimedia Commons

State of crisis

Unless this situation is urgently reversed, Ramsar Convention Secretary-General Martha Roja Urrego warns the world will be in a state of crisis because wetlands are critical for all aspects of life.

“All the water that we use for consumption, irrigation and for hydro-electricity comes directly or indirectly from wetlands,” Urrego said. “Secondly, wetlands also have a main function in filtering waste and pollutants, so they act as the kidneys of the world. They filter the waste.”

Urrego says wetlands also are essential in regulating the global climate as peatlands store twice as much carbon as the world’s forests.

Amazon, Climate
This Sept. 15, 2009 file photo shows a deforested area near Novo Progresso in Brazil’s northern state of Para.. VOA

Several factors

The report finds wetland loss is driven mainly by such factors as climate change, population increase, changing consumption patterns and urbanization, particularly in coastal zones and river deltas.

Also Read: UN Agencies and Bangladesh Government Advances to Prevent Further Deforestation

Authors of the report say biodiversity also is in a state of crisis. They say more than 25 percent of all wetlands plants and animals are at risk of extinction.

Scientists say without biodiversity, there is no future for humanity, because the air people breathe, the water they drink and the food they eat ultimately rely on biodiversity in its many forms. (VOA)

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Haryana Takes Steps to Curtail Crop Residue Burning by Increasing Maize Crop Area

The state government said that there is a centralised control room where the monitoring is done and the FIRs are registered

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Haryana
Paddy stubble burning incidents in neighbouring states like Haryana have been identified as among the reasons for high pollution levels in the Delhi NCR region during the winter season. Pixabay

Haryana is taking a number of steps to curtail crop residue burning, including diversifying rice area to maize crop and daily monitoring of fire burning incidents.

Paddy stubble burning incidents in neighbouring states like Haryana have been identified as among the reasons for high pollution levels in the Delhi NCR region during the winter season

Haryana has submitted before the National Green Tribunal that it has undertaken a major programme to diversify rice area to growing maize crop by which the target was to achieve water conservation and conservation of ecology. This will, indirectly, also reduce the chances of crop burning residue in rice cultivation area.

The burning locations are monitored by Haryana Space Applications Centre and the alerts are being issued by them to all the stake-holders.

The state government said that there is a centralised control room where the monitoring is done and the FIRs are registered. Dashboard monitoring is also being conducted. Also FIR and minute level monitoring at field level and serving alert messages to other field authorities is also being done.

A special cell has been in place at Directorate of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Haryana with regard to review the status of crop residue burning on daily basis.

Haryana
The burning locations on fields are monitored by Haryana Space Applications Centre and the alerts are being issued by them to all the stake-holders. Pixabay

The Indian Oil Corporation is going to establish ethanol plant in Panipat district and the Haryana government has already notified bio-energy policy.

The government is also carrying out timely supply of crop residue machinery to the farmers. A pilot project is also being taken up for setting up compost units in a cluster of villages. The matter is also being taken up with the Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar.

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Haryana has also selected 10,179 beneficiaries for providing subsidy under the crop residue management scheme. (IANS)