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Towards Conservation of DEEPOR BEEL WETLAND Prepared by ‘Friends of Deepor’ (Available internet resources and information sent by various individuals are.

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Presentation on theme: "Towards Conservation of DEEPOR BEEL WETLAND Prepared by ‘Friends of Deepor’ (Available internet resources and information sent by various individuals are."— Presentation transcript:

1 Towards Conservation of DEEPOR BEEL WETLAND Prepared by ‘Friends of Deepor’ (Available internet resources and information sent by various individuals are used in this presentation and are thankfully acknowledged) 2007 ESC 740: Environmental Management North Dakota State University, Fargo, USA

2 What are wetlands? Wetlands are areas where water is the primary factor controlling the environment and the associated plant and animal life They occur where the water table is at or near the surface of the land, or where the land is covered by shallow water for at least six months of the year Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, 1971

3 Five major wetland types; 1.Marine (coastal wetlands including coastal lagoons, rocky shores, and coral reefs) 2.Estuarine (including deltas, tidal marshes, and mangrove swamps) 3.Lacustrine (wetlands associated with lakes) 4.Riverine (wetlands along rivers and streams) 5.Palustrine (marshes, swamps and bogs) In addition, human-made wetlands (fish and shrimp ponds, farm ponds, irrigated agricultural land, salt pans, reservoirs, gravel pits, sewage farms and canals) What are wetlands? Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, 1971

4 What some people think about wetlands? “ WETLANDS are WASTELANDS” “Useless, disease-ridden places” Are these true? Do wetlands have any value? Do we need to conserve wetlands?

5 Values of wetlands Fish and wildlife habitats Natural water quality improvement Flood regulation Shoreline erosion protection Opportunities for recreation and aesthetic appreciation Natural products for our use at little or no cost

6 Values of wetlands The intact value of wetlands is way higher than intensive farming The global value of ecosystem services of wetlands $4.9 trillion/year

7 Values of wetlands EcosystemTotal area (mil. Of ha) Local value ($/ha/yr) Global value (Trillions $/yr) Coastal Open ocean33, Wetlands330 (0.7%) 14,785 (48.9%) 4.9 (14.7%) Tropical forest Lakes, rivers Grasslands Croplands Other forests Total46,98530, Costanza et al Nature 387:

8 Deepor Beel Wetlands, Assam, India Palustrine wetland A significant wetland in Brahmaputra River drainage Consists of perennial, freshwater lake and associated pool systems Area: 40 sq km (Assam State Flood Control Department records the area as sq km) Deepor Beel Ramsar sites in India

9 South-west of Guwahati city, Assam, India Only major storm water storage basin for Guwahati Deepor Beel Wetland, Assam, India

10 Deepor Habitat Diversity

11 Recognition of Deepor Beel 1989: The government of Assam declared 414 ha as a bird sanctuary (Gazette notification # FRW.1/80/26 of 1972) 2002: Recognized as one of the most significant wetland systems in the world under Ramsar Convention (IRS 2002) 2004: Declared as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International

12 Biological Diversity TaxaNumber of species Phytoplankton18 genera Zooplankton21 genera Amphibians20 Fish50 Reptiles36 Birds Mammals Highly productive and diverse ecosystem. Biodiversity is not fully understood yet Need more surveys and research to document complete biodiversity

13 Bird Paradise A good breeding and feeding ground for birds 219 species recorded 70 migratory bird species Several globally threatened species One of the staging grounds on the migratory flyways for several bird species

14 Globally threatened birds Lesser adjutant stork Greater adjutant stork Spot-billed pelican Baer’s pochard Pallas’s sea eagle Slender-billed vulture Ferruginous Duck

15 Globally threatened mammals Irriwaddy Squirrel Asiatic Elephant Leopard Hoolock Gibbon Fishing Cat

16 Fish Diversity Clown knife fish Striped Snakehead Stripped Rasbora 50 species belonging to 19 families Spiny eel

17 Herpetofaunal Diversity 20 Amphibians 12 Lizards 18 Snakes 6 Turtles/tortoise

18 Floral Diversity Vegetation: comprises of aquatic submerged and emergent vegetation and also some shrubs, climbers and trees Taxa Composition Dicotyledons65.62% Monocotyledons31.47% Peridophytes2.90% Total species448

19 Local community Wetlands supports a local fishery/fisheries Traditionally utilize the wetland to collect: –fodder for domestic cattle –natural food, such as, vegetables, flowers, aquatic seeds, fish, molluscs Commute to city through the wetland in country boats

20 Depend on the wetland and adjoining forests for daily needs Fire wood– 68.42% Woods, bamboos % Local community

21  Illegal constructions/ settlements in and around (buffer zones) the wetland  Municipal garbage dumping  Change in natural drainage system  Habitat fragmentation: railway tract, new roads through wetland  Spread of invasive species  Spread of Commerce: brick kilns, soil quarry What’s happening?

22 Illegal land settlements/ constructions What’s happening?

23 Impacts of settlements/ construction Settlements/ construction Blockage of natural water flow Contamination of ground water Direct Habitat loss wastes FloodsPredation/ replacement of natives Fish Kills Eutrophication Drinking water shortage Local extinction of species Introduction of exotics Loss of aesthetic value Loss of direct use value Attraction of exotics Damage to lives and property Spread of diseases NEGATIVELY IMPACT TO THE HUMAN LIVELYHOOD

24 What’s happening? Garbage dumping Greater Adjutant storks attracted to garbage (Brighter side of the tragedy!)

25 Impacts of garbage dumping Garbage dumping Blockage of natural water flow Contamination of ground water Direct Habitat loss Attraction of exotics pollutants FloodsPredation/ replacement of natives Fish Kills Eutrophication Damage to lives and property Drinking water shortage Local extinction of species Introduction of exotics Loss of aesthetic value Spread of diseases Loss of direct use value NEGATIVELY IMPACT TO THE HUMAN LIVELYHOOD

26 Impact Summary Settlements/construction and Garbage dumping Habitat loss Flood storage capacity reduction Water contamination Eutrophication Predation/ replacement of local species by invasive species Risk of spreading new diseases Loss of livelihood of local people Loss of aesthetic value

27 One more issue! Asiatic Elephant population is fragmented in adjoining Rani-Garbhanga Reserved forests by the railway road Elephants regularly visit the wetland for water/ food- now stands interrupted Death of elephants Increased man-elephant conflicts in nearby villages

28 Our Expectations 1.Stop garbage dumping in Deepor Beel with immediate effect 2.Stop land settlement, construction, and land transformation by declaring the area as an environmentally sensitive area 3.Empower Deepor Beel Development Authority as the sole organization managing Deepor Beel

29 We believe: “Deepor belongs to the indigenous people and their friends in nature!” This presentation is designed by Sujan M. Henkanaththegedara (Sujan) for ECS 740: Environmental Management (Fall 2007)


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