On 26th September 2017, the Union Environment Ministry notified the new Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2017, in New Delhi.
Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2017:
i. The new rules will replace the 2010 version of the Wetland rules.
ii. Wetlands are lands mid-way between terrestrial and aquatic eco-systems. The water table is usually near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water.
iii. There are 115 wetlands that are officially identified by the central government. Out of these, 26 are identified as wetlands of international importance under Ramsar Convention.
iv. Ramsar Covention is an international intergovernmental treaty for conservation of wetlands.
v. The new rules insist setting up of a State Wetlands Authority in every state and union territory.
vi. This will be headed by the State’s Environment Minister.
vii. Government officials will be appointed as members.
viii. It will include one expert from each of the following fields: wetland ecology, hydrology, fisheries, landscape planning and socioeconomics.
ix. The experts would be nominated by the state government.
x. These authorities will develop a list of activities to be regulated and permitted in the wetlands.
xi. They would also plan methods for conservation and wise use of wetlands, and spread awareness about wetlands.
xii. They will also prepare a list of all wetlands in the state or union territory within 3 months.
xiii. The rules prohibit conversion of wetland for non-wetland uses like encroachment, industrial usage etc.
xiv. A National Wetlands Committee would be set up to monitor the work carried out by the states.
xv. This committee would be headed by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) Secretary.
About Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC):
i. Headquarters – New Delhi
ii. Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change – Dr.Harsh Vardhan