Kolleru is one of the wetlands listed for conservation at Ramsar, Iran in 1971
Representatives of Green groups that are fighting to conserve Kolleru Lake as well as groups that have lost their livelihood because of the efforts to conserve the lake have been invited to participate in a meeting held for Ramsar Site Stakeholders.
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment – Community Education and Research Centre (ATREE-CERC), Alappuzha, in Kerala is organising the meeting from March 3 to 5.
Noted environmental activist who has been fighting for the conservation of Kolleru Lake, Pathanjali Sastry, former Forest Department officer who plays a key role in the protection of the Kolleru Wildlife Sanctuary even today, P. Gracious, and leader of the fishermen community Said Satyanarayana have been invited.
The National Stakeholder meeting and Conservation seminar of the Ramsar Sites in India in Alappuzha will bring together several great people. Wetlands of international importance were listed for conservation after an environmental convention held at Ramsar, Iran, on February 2, 1971. The convention developed and adopted at the meeting came into force on December 21, 1975. India is one of 163 signatories of the convention.
The Ramsar list of Wetlands increased from 1,201 sites in 2000 to 2,065 sites today covering 197,347,539 hectares.
Kolleru Lake, which is 901 square kilometres according to the records of the Ramsar Convention, is the largest fresh water lake in the country.
The Chilika Lake which is 1,100 square km is a brackish water lake and the Vembanad Lake which is 1,512 square km is partially brackish.
The Ramsar definition of wetlands is fairly wide, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters as well as fish ponds, rice fields and salt pans.
There are 26 Ramsar sites in India and the main programme planned in connection with the event includes a photo competition and exhibition, conservation seminar, interaction meeting among stakeholders, exhibition of stakeholders including their products and programmes to showcase their traditional culture.
The event will be the first of its kind in the country and around 250 participants from all over India are expected to participate in the meeting supported by Ministry of Environment and Forests.