East Kolkata Ramsar site, spread across 12,500 ha is known as model of multiple use wetlands havinclick to contact me.g resource recovery system. It is facing threat of being removed from Ramsar list on pretext of habitat destruction, waste escalation, encroachment and exploitation. The main challenge in saving the wetland is that the livelihood of nearly 1.5 lakh inhabitants is directly or indirectly bestowed on wetland resources. The project undertaken by SAFE aims to conserve the site for long-term sustainable environmental development through community participation and partnership by means of ecological restoration, habitat evaluation, biodiversity indexing alternative farming for expanding economic opportunity and adaptive environmental management.
Why East Kolkata Wetlands?
Sometimes called the “Kidneys of Kolkata (Calcutta),” the East Kolkata Wetlands (EKWs) are the largest of their kind in the world, covering an area of 12,500 hectares which were designated as a RAMSAR* site in 2002.
* EKW produces more than 13,000 tones of fish annually, whose yield at 2-4 times higher than average fish ponds, is among the best of any freshwater pisciculture in the country. Some 150 tonnes of vegetables per day are harvested from small-scale plots irrigated with wastewater.
* EKW is a bio-diversity storehouse with over 100 plant species, rare mammals including the marsh mongoose, the small Indian mongoose, the palm and Indian civets, and the threatened Indian mud turtle. There are also some 40 species of birds, both local and migratory, which include kingfishers, grebes, cormorants, egrets, terns, eagles and sandpipers.
* EKW like other wetlands of the world acts as a carbon sink and helps reduce green house gases. It also provides functions like flood control, ground water replenishment, controls pollution largely.
Major Threats on EKW !
A marsh Mongoose (Herpestes palustris).
Some of the major threats on EKW are: