• Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

International Wetlands Day 2023 was observed by Voice of Environment

Voice of Environment (VoE), a youth-based environmental organization based out of Guwahati, Assam, celebrates World Wetlands Day (WWD) 2023 in a magnificent way. This year’s World Wetlands Day theme was “It’s Time for Wetlands Restoration,” which highlighted the urgent need to prioritize wetland restoration. The international community celebrates World Wetlands Day on February 2, 2023, to raise awareness about wetlands, reverse their rapid loss, and encourage action to conserve and restore them. Team VoE is aligned with this theme and has undertaken an online workshop titled “Know Your Wetlands.” The discussion session has been illuminated by the illustrious presence of Mr. Deepak Kumar, Environment Officer at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), India, as a speaker, Dr. Anu Sharma, Assistant Professor, Jammu University, as moderator, Dr. Srijan Goswami, Biochemic Physician and Community Nutritionist, Mr. Moharana Choudhury, Environmentalist and Researcher based in Guwahati, Assam, and other Voice of Environment members.

The workshop session was started at around 5.30 p.m. (IST) with an opening by Dr. Anu Sharma introducing the panel members, speakers, participants, and other VoE members. She also explained the concept of wetlands and its broader meaning. Then the session was continued and taken over by Deepak Kumar, who explained the role, significance, functions, duty, and application of the wetlands and their importance. He also talked about the anthropogenic factors that affect the biodiversity of wetlands and the conservation mitigation actions taken at the community level at ground zero as well as in the official approach. In this discussion, it was also highlighted how the destruction of such an ecosystem not only disturbs the balance of the ecology but also harms human wellbeing. The participant also expressed their opinion and kept their observation during the session’s continuation on the economic value of wetlands. The session concluded that we should conserve wetlands not only to restore the ecosystem and combat climate change, but also for the sake of human survival. Following the session, participants from various fields provided feedback on the topic of discussion.

Dr. Rajeshwari Roy, faculty member at Rabindra Bharati University’s Department of Environmental Studies, described the session as an “eye-opening session” that clearly highlighted the economic and social values of wetlands aside from their aesthetics, and conservation of wetlands could be the most important step toward reducing the carbon footprint. Ravi Saxena, PhD, via MRes Economics Student, The University of Bristol, UK, learned and understood that to maintain a healthy climate; the young community must take responsibility for the conservation and restoration of natural resources such as wetlands and forests. Our next generation cannot imagine having healthy natural resources in the future if we do not take initiative now to implement the Sustainable Development Goals as outlined by the UN. To help wetlands and fight climate change, he encourages all of us to take personal responsibility. He also thanks our speaker, Deepak Kumar, and the Team VoE for such an informative and effective session. Dipanwita Chakraborty, B Sc. 3rd year, Zoology Dept., Assam Royal Global University, understood the restoration and valuation of the wetland, and she expressed gratitude to the team VoE for this session. Dr. Laxmi Kant Bhardwaj, from Amity University, Noida (UP), appreciates VoE for this knowledgeable session and expresses his view by saying that he learned from the session that the old people were very intelligent; they knew the value of wetlands. But modernization has caused great damage to the wetlands. Mayoushree Gogoi, M.Sc., final year, Zoology department, Assam Royal Global University, thanks the team VoE and understands how urbanization affects wetlands and how economic valuations are a powerful tool among the various multiple users of wetlands. Debarpita Sil, M.A. Environmental Studies, Rabindra Bharati University, understood the importance of wetlands and acknowledged the initiative of Team VoE.

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