India’s disappearing wetlands: Will the new scheme announced in the Budget help? | In Focus podcast

Ritesh Kumar speaks to us about the status of wetlands in India, the new Amrit Dharohar scheme and how, as a society, we can help protect these natural resources.

Updated - February 16, 2023 07:03 pm IST

Published - February 16, 2023 05:04 pm IST

This year’s Union Budget announced a scheme for the protection of natural resources that are fast degrading in the country: our wetlands. Amrit Dharohar, the scheme announced by the Finance Minister in the Union Budget this year, aims to protect and work towards the optimal use of wetlands. A separate scheme to protect mangroves was also announced. To mark 75 years of Independence last year, India also added 11 sites to its existing Ramsar sites, making 75 in all. Ramsar sites are wetlands that are designated to be of international importance for biodiversity.

By some estimates, India has lost nearly 30% of its wetlands over the last three decades: unplanned construction and pollution being major factors in this. Their loss can have massive consequences for cities – flooding and loss of water security being some.

What is the status of wetlands in India now? How well are current rules for protection being implemented? How much will the new schemes help? And how can local societies get involved in conservation?

Guest: Dr Ritesh Kumar: Director, Wetlands International South Asia

Host: Zubeda Hamid

Edited by Jude Francis Weston

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