SUBJECT : Awareness programme about wetlands on World Wetlands Day, 2nd February 2018 

The World Wetlands Day (WWD) is celebrated every year on 2nd February to commemorate the signing of international treaty ‘Ramsar Convention on Wetlands’ in 1971 ‘for conservation of wetlands at the global level.’ India is also a party to the convention since 1982 and so far identified 26 wetlands as Ramsar sites covering 15 states.

The theme for World Wetlands Day, 2018 was selected as ‘Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future’. The key message was that Urban Wetlands make cities livable by providing multiple benefits such as: Flood Control, Water supply, waste treatment, green space and livelihoods. The focus behind this year’s theme was to integrate urban wetlands into city’s sustainable future planning and development and adopt policies and actions which will help conserve these wetlands instead of being treated as wastelands.

ENVIS 'Resource Partner' Sikkim on Ecotourism had organized a one day awareness programme to help contribute towards celebration of WWD 2018. The venue selected by the ENVIS Centre was Kendriya Vidyalaya/Central School.

ENVIS Project Coordinator: Shri D.T. Bhutia addressing students

The programme was attended by Additional Director-cum-coordinator Shri D.T. Bhutia (DST&CC, GoS), and Envis Staff Members with cooperation from the school principal Mr. D. B. Singh and his efficient teaching staff. Students of classes eight, nine and eleven were selected for the awareness programme.

Students and Teachers of Kendra Vidyalaya going through pamphlets

The programme was started by a brief introduction to the students on wetlands and the importance of their conservation by our coordinator. He also explained about wetlands urban sustainable growth.

IT Officer: Mr. Niraj Sharma explaining students about wetlands and its importance.

A brief introduction to Cyrosphere (the cyrosphere is those portions of the earth’s surface where water is in solid form including sea ice, lake ice, river ice, snow cover, glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets and frozen ground. Thus, there is a wide overlap with hydrosphere) was given as a added instruction from our principal secretary.

Sr. Programme Officer: Mr. Sherap Namgyal Bhutia presenting about Wetlands.

There was a power point presentation on wetlands in India including various wetlands across Sikkim given by our Senior Programme Officer Mr. Sherap Namgyal Bhutia. He talked about different types of wetlands, sustainable urban areas and the relationship of climate change, cryosphere and wetland and the importance of wetlands for a sustainable urban future. It was a good interactive session with the students and the teachers that were present.

Video Screening on Chilika Lake and East Kolkata Wetlands

The power point session was followed by screening of the videos "Chilika - Jewel of Odisha" and "East Kolkata Wetlands- an ecologist's perspective", and an interaction with students of Dr. Dhrubajyoti Ghosh's take on the importance of East Kolkata Wetlands which not only sustains livelihood for people living around the wetlands but also how Kolkata's waste and effluents are being treated naturally over centuries by these wetlands. The videos helped the children better understand the conservation and sustenance of our wetlands.

(L) One of many paintings by school Student. (R) Students creativity during painting competition.

A painting competition was organised for the students with the theme ‘wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future’. After the students were done with the painting we distributed packed lunch and refreshments and ended our programme.

Information Officer: Mr. Prabhakar Gurung distributing Refreshment packets to the school students.

It was a fruitful programme as the students learned about world wetlands and how important it is to integrate these wetlands for sustainable future planning.

Source: ENVIS RP Sikkim on Ecotourism