Print Edition - 2016-02-02 | News
Listing has little impact on Ramsar wetlands
Lake cluster of Pokhara—Phewa, Begnas, Rupa, Dipang, Gunde, Maidi, Neurani, Kamal and Khaste—to be listed today
Feb 2, 2016-While the number of Nepal’s wetlands listed in the acclaimed Ramsar Sites increases, very little attention has been paid to conservation of these vital water systems. Coinciding with the World Wetland Day, the nine-lake cluster of Pokhara Valley—Phewa, Begnas, Rupa, Dipang, Gunde, Maidi, Neurani, Kamal and Khaste—will be formally listed on the Ramsar Sites on Tuesday.
With this latest addition to the list, Nepal is now home to 10 Ramsar Sites under the Ramsar Convention, an inter-governmental treaty that came into force in 1970 for conservation and sustainable management of wetland such as marshes, lakes and swamps.
“Though the declaration of some wetlands as Ramsar Sites has provided some attention, many Ramsar Sites are facing degradation and need immediate protection,” said Rajendra Khanal, programme coordinator from the International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN).
Conservationists say that inclusion in the Ramsar Site alone is not enough as the situation of thee existing wetlands, including those of international importance are in dire condition due to lack of proper management and monitoring from the concerned bodies.
But government officials see the listing as a first important step.
“The international listing of our lakes is a great achievement. This gives a much-needed attention and investment in wetland conservation,” said Maheshwar Dhakal, under-secretary at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), the implementing organisation for the Ramsar Convention.
“It is also true that if we don’t work on garnering international attention like the Ramsar listing for some important wetlands, these sites would never get conservation even at local level,” Dhakal added. Koshi Tappu Reserve was the first Ramsar Site listed from Nepal in 1987.
Published: 02-02-2016 08:26