Kerala

Wetlands of significance: discussions to begin soon

Public consultations for notifying the wetlands of significance will begin shortly in the State.

The State Wetlands Authority, Kerala, (SWAK) had earlier identified 40 wetlands of importance in the State with the support of remote sensing agencies. The SWAK has written to the Collectors of 11 districts where the identified wetlands are located to fix the dates for consultations with the local bodies concerned. The consultations with the civic authorities of Ernakulam were completed earlier.

Kollam has the most number of wetlands, nine, followed by Thiruvananthapuram (8), Kozhikode (5) and Alappuzha and Kottayam, four each, according to the draft list.

Poovar-Pozhikkara, Killi, Vellayani, Akkulam, Kadinamkulam and Anchuthengu Kayal of Thiruvananthapuram; Paravur Kayal, Vattakayal and Kottakayal, the Ramsar site of Ashtamudi and Sasthamkotta of Kollam; Kayamkulam and Pullikkal Kayal, Ramsar site of Vembanad Kol of Alappuzha; and Beypore, Kallayi, Kottuli and Korapuzha of Kozhikode are among the wetlands that have found place on the draft list.

The public consultations are being held for ascertaining the boundaries of the identified wetlands. The boundaries that were earlier identified using satellite imageries need to be physically verified with the local bodies concerned. Besides fixing the boundaries, the zones of influence of the wetlands also needed to be identified during the consultation process, said Suneel Pamidi, Member Secretary, SWAK.

Zone of influence

The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017 define the zone of influence of a wetland as an area where any developmental activities undertaken are “likely to induce adverse changes in wetland ecosystem structure and (ecological) functioning.”

The Rules, issued by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, also prescribe certain restrictions on activities at a distance of 50 metre from the boundaries of the notified wetlands. The authority also had the mandate for preparing integrated management plan for each of the notified wetlands, he said.

Online

The public consultations, which were put on hold following the COVID outbreak, would resume online shortly, he said.

The SWAK will also have to come out with the description of boundaries, zone of influence and the list of prohibited and regulated activities within the wetland and its zone of influence. The draft notification will also be published for public consultations. The general public can respond to it within 60 days of its publication.


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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 8:49:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/wetlands-of-significance-discussions-to-begin-soon/article35544450.ece

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