Special Correspondent

VIJAYAWADA: Schoolchildren will vie with one another to list the number of animals and plants they can recognise in a competition being held by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Forest Department at Kaikaluru on Tuesday. The novel contest is being conducted for children of schools in Krishna and West Godavari districts. The two districts enjoy the distinction of housing Kolleru, the world’s largest fresh water lake protected under the Ramsar Convention.

The contest is being organised to mark the World Wetlands Day (WWD) that is celebrated every year on February 2, the day the World Wetlands Convention was signed in Ramsar, Iran. Though the convention was signed in 1971, the WWD was first celebrated in 1997. Former Assistant Conservator of Forests P. Gracious, talking to The Hindu on Monday, said the WWD theme this year was ‘Wetlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change’. The end of 2009 saw a major convention on climate change at Copenhagen and 2010 is being observed as “International Year of Biodiversity”. Biodiversity and climate change are going to make big news in the years to come. Against this background, the WWD slogan for 2010 is “Caring for wetlands – an answer to climate change.” The knowledge students have of subjects like biodiversity and climate change was surprisingly high, he said. The contest will be held at Atapaka.