1Supporting Urban Sustainability Location: Guwahati, India Focus Ecosystem: Deepor Beel Ecosytsem Ecosystem type: Wetland Core team: Simanta Kalita, Dr. Bhupen Das, Dr. Wazir Alam, Mr. Punna Das, Mr. Uttam Teron, Ms. Tanvi Ahmed
2IntroductionLocation: South-west of Guwahati city, in Kamrup district of Assam, India between 91o35’-91o43’E longitude, 26o05’-26o11’N latitudeWetland type: permanent freshwater lake, in an abandoned channel of the Brahmaputra River.Total area: about 10 sq. kmThere is no Special Management Authority and District Administration is looking after the affairsIt is Ramsar site listed in November 2002It is also a IBA site and part of it is a Wildlife Sanctuary
3Map of Kamrup district showing location of Deepor
4Introduction Sanctuary part is controlled by the Forest Department Depth: At maximum flooding, it is about four metres deep. During the dry season, the depth drops to about one metre.Feeding of water: Basistha and Kalmani rivers and local monsoon run off between May and September.Link to Brahmaputra: The Beel drains into the Brahamputra river five km. to the north, through the Khonajan channel. Also connected through Bharalu river
5Land tenure and land use Land tenure: Till recent past the site was owned by the Fishery Department of the Government of Assam. Now District Administration is looking after. The surroundings are in private property, except for the Gorbhanga Reserve Forest which is state-owned.Land use: The wetland is used for fishing, domestic water supply, collection of natural products, fodder and food supply, transport, and recreation. Traditionally, the Beel provides fodder to cattle and food to the local people.
9Ecosystem services Fishing (74 species recorded recently) Waterway for transportationFodder for domestic cattleAgricultureEco-tourismBirding site (70 + migratory birds)Hydrological Services : (groundwater recharge, flood control, sediment trapping, shoreline stabilization, etc.).
10Livelihood supportThe wetland is reported to provide, directly or indirectly, its natural resources for the livelihood of fourteen indigenous villages (about 1,200 families)Most common human dependance are for –FishingWet paddy cultureFodderother aquatic products like Euryl ferox
11Livelihood of the Villagers: 22.63% households depend fully on the bioresources of the wetland (commercial fishing)17.33% households partially dependant.56.45%families depend on the wetland for fodder.Agriculture is the chief source of occupation of 16.71% households14.86% households obtains their daily bread by working a s a labour11.31% of the households relies on business as source of income
13Problems of the ecosystem No clear cut boundaryA railway line along the Southern Boundary of Deepor Beel bisect the ecosystemIndustrial growth and pollutionReal estate activities in the water retention area of the wetlandBrick Kiln and soil cutting within the beel ecosystemDestruction of the catchment area – stone quaries, sealing of gullies, obstruction of elephant movement etc.Over exploitation of bioresources including fishesWaste dumping
18Conservation measures taken The Government of Assam vide Gazette Notification No. FRW.1/80/26 declared 414ha of the beel area as a Sanctuary (Dipor Beel Sanctuary) in 1989.It has been declared as a IBA site in 2004
19Our Research QuestionHow can we conserve Deepor beel through community participation and diversified livelihood?How to get community participation?What are the acceptable alternative livelihood options?How can we arrange funding for the livelihood projects?
20The process we are following Meeting advisory team membersVisiting Govt offices, universities to collect secondary infoCommunity consultations as a VISUALIZATION PROCESSInterviewing key stakeholdersMapping (TISS)