A workshop on ‘Wetlands: challenges in conservation’ organised by the Scientists Association of Malabar (SAM) in association with the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) here on Saturday said the local bodies should play a lead role in the protection of the remaining wetlands and save the city from drinking water shortage.

The participants at the seminar expressed concern over the declining number of waterbodies and pointed out that only four out of the 64 swamps had survived the uncontrolled encroachments and land filling activities.

Minister for Panchayats and Social Justice M.K. Muneer who opened the seminar and panel discussions said the local self government institutions had already realised the importance of wetlands and started attempts to protect them from extinction. He explained projects related to watershed management in which the local bodies had been playing an active role.

Dr. Muneer said the local bodies would be able to do more in the sector taking into account the growing interest of world nations on the subject. The suitable wetland conservation model for the city should come from the people so that the authorities would be able to make effective interventions, he explained.

The one-day workshop attended by representatives of various panchayats, researchers and scientists, underscored that drought and flood-related problems too were an outcome of the vanishing wetlands.

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