Various aspects connected with conservation of wetlands and bird sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu would be put across to the field-level forest department personnel taking part in the State-level training programme that got underway here on Tuesday.

The direct and indirect benefits of wetland ecosystem, wetland birds and their habits, managing wetland ecosystem for wildlife and water birds, significance of environmental flows and the role of communities in wetland conservation and the present status and scope of improved practices for managing bird sanctuaries are among the host of subjects to be covered during the four-day training and capacity building programme on ‘Wetland management with special focus on conservation of bird sanctuaries and wetlands in Tamil Nadu’.

The sessions, covering a myriad of topics, would be handled by resource persons from the Care Earth Trust and the Bombay Natural History Society in addition to top officials from the Forest Department.

As part of the programme organised under the Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Conservation and Greening Project, the participating field level personnel – forest guards, watchers and rangers – would be taken on field visits to the bird sanctuaries at Karaivetti, Vaduvoor and Udhayamarthandapuram besides Point Calimere wildlife sanctuary.

Inaugurating the programme, K.Chidambaram, Chief Project Director, Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Conservation and Greening Project, said the project was being implemented with assistance of Japanese International Cooperation Agency for a period of eight years from 2011-12 to 2018-19 at a total cost of Rs.686.28 crore.

The objective of the project is to strengthen biodiversity by improving ecosystem and the management capacity as well as undertaking tree planting outside the recorded forest areas, thereby contributing to environmental conservation and harmonized socio-economic development of Tamil Nadu.

Orientation to the field-level personnel about the project and its objectives was part of the project, he said adding that the long term aim was to come out with conservation plans for wetlands and bird sanctuaries.

In his special address, R.Sundararaju, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden (retired) and Project Consultant, Biodiversity National said it was essential to understand the importance and ecology of wetlands which acts as a food chain for different species. Necessary feeding, nesting and breeding conditions for different species of birds had to be created in wetlands, he said.

Inder Kumar Dhameja, Project Director, Tamil Nadu Biodiversity and Greening Project and Conservator of Forests, Tiruchi circle I. Anwardeen spoke on the occasion.