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Wetland Ecosystem Services and Its Valuation with Special Reference To India-A Review

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Wetlands have been described as the kidneys of the landscape, because of the functions they perform in the hydrological and chemical cycles, and as biological supermarkets, because of the extensive food webs and rich biodiversity they support. Globally, a lot of researches have been done to study ecosystem service potential of wetlands viz., provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting services. However, our review in the Indian context revealed that studies on wetland ecosystem services are limited to provisioning and cultural aspects. Very scanty information is available on supporting and regulating services. We therefore suggest that there should be detail ecological studies on different aspects of wetland ecosystem structures and functions, and attempts should be made to link wetland ecology with human welfare and economy of the region. Through such studies, the ecosystem people and management authorities would be able to appreciate the link between healthy ecosystem and human well-being. This would motivate the involvement of the local masses in safeguarding and managing the wetland resources in a sustainable manner. Such studies would also help the policy makers in designing diverse management strategies for the wetlands.
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ABSTRACT
Wetlands have been described as the kidneys of the landscape, because
of the functions they perform in the hydrological and chemical cycles,
and as biological supermarkets, because of the extensive food webs
and rich biodiversity they support. Globally, a lot of research has been
done to study ecosystem service potential of wetlands viz., provisioning,
regulating, cultural and supporting services. However, our review in
the Indian context revealed that studies on wetland ecosystem services
are limited to provisioning and cultural aspects. The information on
supporting and regulating services provided by the wetlands are very
limited. Therefore, detail ecological studies on different aspects of
Wetland Ecosystem Services and its
Valuation with Special Reference to India
A Review
BIODIVERSITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
Edited by: Dr. Krishna Upadhaya
ISBN: 978-93-5056-775-3
Edition: 2016
Published by: Discovery Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi (India)
Pages: 59-76
5
CHAPTER
Priyanka Sarkar and Tapati Das*
Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar - 788 011, India.
* Corresponding author email: das.tapati@gmail.com
60 Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
wetland ecosystem structures and functions, and attempts to link
wetland ecology with human welfare and economy of the region is
suggested. Such studies on the wetland ecosystem, people and
management authorities would help to understand and appreciate the
link between healthy ecosystem and human well-being. This would
motivate the involvement of the local masses in safeguarding and
managing the wetland resources in a sustainable manner. It would also
help the policy makers in designing diverse management strategies for
the wetlands.
Key words: Wetland, ecosystem services, India.
Introduction
Ecosystem service is a collective term for the goods and services produced
by ecosystems that benefit humankind (Jenkins et al. 2010). According to
Barbier (2011), ecosystem services are natural assets produced by the
environment and utilized by humans, such as clean air, water, food etc.
Ecosystem services contribute to social and cultural well-being (Fischer et al.
2009), and have high economic value (Barbier et al. 1997, Emerton and Bos
2004, Turner et al. 2008). During the past decade, progress has been made in
understanding how ecosystems provide services, and how service provision
translates into economic value (Daily 1997, MA 2005, NRC 2005). In one of
the most widely cited ecosystem service valuation studies, Costanza et al.
(1997) estimated the value of the services provided by Earth’s ecosystems to
be at least $33 trillion per year. However, these services have traditionally
been undervalued as they often fall outside conventional markets. In this
regard, monetary valuation will let the common people realize the actual
value of natural ecosystems and here comes the role of ecosystem service
studies.
Since the release of Brundtland Report in October, 1987, where the
concept of sustainable development gained the momentum, there has been
much enthusiasm on the notion that standard measures of economic output
should be extended to account for the loss of natural resources i.e., our
natural capital. Now, there is a global concern over the disappearance of
natural ecosystems and habitats due to conversion of the land to other uses,
degradation of the functioning and integrity of natural ecosystems through
resource exploitation, pollution, biodiversity loss, and habitat fragmentation
(MA 2005). All these have prompted policymakers to consider the ‘value of
ecosystem services’ in environmental management decisions.
Valuation is particularly useful in institutional systems like markets and
common property resources (viz., forestlands, grasslands, wetlands etc.),
which are not functioning well to reflect the social costs of environmental
degradation. When not guided by the concept of ‘value’, decisions about
Wetland Ecosystem Services and its Valuation with Special Reference … 61
conservation or restoration actions can lead to the misuse of resources. The
processes of production and consumption not only derive inputs from natural
systems, but also alter those systems through land-use change and the
discharge of waste. Keeping track of how the transformation of ecosystems
affects human welfare in both the short and long run is an important accounting
activity. Therefore, economic valuation of ecosystem services (which
otherwise remain outside the economic decision making) can contribute
positively to the formulation and evaluation of environmental policies in
sustainable ways (MA 2005). Accordingly, MA (2005) identified four types
of ecosystem services viz, provisioning services, regulating services, cultural
services and supporting services which are briefly described in Table 5.1.
Table 5.1: Broad Classification of Ecosystem Services
Provisioning Services Regulating Services Cultural services
Products obtained from Benefit obtained from Non-material benefits
ecosystems
e.g.
regulation of ecosystem obtained from
processes
e.g.
ecosystems
e.g.
• Food Climate regulation Spiritual and religious
Fresh water Disease regulation Recreation and ecotourism
Fuel wood Water regulation Aesthetic
• Fiber Water purification • Inspirational
• Biochemicals Pollination Educational
Genetic resources Sense of place
Cultural heritage
Supporting Services
Services necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services
e.g.,
Soil formation Nutrient cycling Primary production
Source: MA 2005
Wetlands and the Wetland Ecosystem Services
As per the definition adopted at Ramsar Convention (1971), Wetlands
are areas of marsh, fen, peat land or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or
temporary, with water that is static or flowing; fresh, brackish, or salty, including
areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters. Wetlands
are categorized as inland (also known as non-tidal, freshwater wetlands)
and coastal (also known as tidal, salt water or estuarine wetlands) (Barbier
et al. 1997). Wetlands have been described as the kidneys of the landscape, because
of the functions they perform in the hydrological and chemical cycles, and as
biological supermarkets, because of the extensive food webs and rich biodiversity
they support (Mitsch and Gosselink 1993). Wetland ecosystems have long
been recognized as providing a range of benefits for people and society
(Maltby 1986, Dugan 1990, Turner and Jones 1990, Davis 1993). Wetlands
support millions of people, not only to those living in their periphery but
62 Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
also to those who reside far away through its various goods (e.g., fishery
products etc.) and services (e.g., maintenance of habitats for various aquatic
and terrestrial communities of human use etc). According to Costanza et al.
(1997), the wetland all over the world occupying only 6.5% of the earth’s
surface area and contributes about 14.7% of the world’s ecosystem service
values with a global average value of $6,000 per acre. The various ecosystem
services provided by or derived from wetlands is shown in Table 5.2.
Table 5.2: Ecosystem Services Provided by or Derived from Wetlands
Ecosystem Services Examples
I. Provisioning
Food Production of fish, wild game, fruits and grains.
Fresh water Storage and retention of water for domestic, industrial and agricultural
uses.
Fiber and fuel Production of logs, fuel wood, peat, fodder.
Biochemical Extraction of medicines and other materials from biota.
Genetic materials Genes for resistance to plant pathogens, ornamental species, and
so on.
II. Regulating
Climate regulation Source and sink for greenhouse gases; influence temperature,
precipitation, and other climatic processes.
Water regulation Groundwater recharge/discharge.
(hydrological flows)
Water purification and Retention, recovery, and removal of excess nutrients and other
pollutants.
waste treatment
Erosion regulation Retention of soils and sediments.
Pollination Habitat for pollinators.
Natural hazard regulation Flood control, storm protection.
III. Cultural
Spiritual and inspirational Source of inspiration; many religions attach spiritual and religious
values to aspects of wetland ecosystems.
Recreational Opportunities for recreational activities.
Aesthetic Many people find beauty or aesthetic value in aspects of wetland
ecosystems.
Educational Opportunities for formal and informal education and training.
IV. Supporting
Soil formation Sediment retention and accumulation of organic matter.
Nutrient cycling Storage, recycling, processing, and acquisition of nutrients.
Source: MA 2005.
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (1971) has promoted wise use of
wetlands which is responsible for better delivery of the ecosystem functions
especially for maintaining diverse habitats of waterfowl mainly the migratory
Wetland Ecosystem Services and its Valuation with Special Reference … 63
birds. Accordingly, the Convention classified wetlands into 42 types under
the following three major categories: (i) marine and coastal wetlands, (ii)
inland wetlands and (iii) human-made wetlands. Worldwide distribution of
the wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention is
represented in Figure 5.1.
Fig. 5.1: Map showing worldwide distribution of wetlands of international importance
under the Ramsar Convention
Source: www. sites.wetlands.org.
The figure reveals that there are 2000 Ramsar wetlands around the
globe, most of which belong to the United Kingdom (170) followed by Mexico
(139), and there are only 26 Ramsar sites in India (Source: http://
sites.wetlands.org). After this Convention on Wetlands (1971), the Millennium
Ecosystem Assessment (1997) moved some steps forward in context of
assigning wetlands’ importance and its wise use. It revealed that wetlands
cover only 7% of the earth’s surface but deliver 45% of the world’s natural
productivity and ecosystem services of which the benefits are estimated to
be $20 trillion a year (www.maweb.org). This recognition of the ecosystem
services of wetlands led to appreciation of their economic value due to proper
ecosystem functions (like production, consumption and decomposition)
through interactions of its various bio-physical structures (e.g., interactions
of plants, animals, and microbes with air, water, soil and sediments within
the wetland habitats). All these fundamental understandings of ecosystem
service value provided a powerful tool for placing wetlands on agendas of
conservation and development by the decision-makers (Barbier et al. 1997,
Emerton and Bos 2004, de Groot et al. 2006 and Turner et al. 2008).
64 Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Wetlands in India
The wetlands in India vary from high-altitude Himalayan lakes to the
flood plains of the major river systems, from saline and temporary wetlands
of the arid and semi-arid regions to coastal wetlands such as lagoons,
backwaters and estuaries, mangrove swamps, coral reefs and marine wetlands,
and so on. In fact, with the exception of bogs, fens and typical salt marshes,
Indian wetlands cover the whole range of the global wetland ecosystem types.
India has various man- made wetlands, too, which have been constructed for
the needs of irrigation, water supply, electricity, fisheries and flood control,
etc. According to the Directory of Asian Wetlands (Scott, 1989), India has a
total of 27,403 wetlands, of which 23,444 are inland wetlands and 3,959 are
coastal wetlands. Indian wetlands are estimated to occupy 18.5% of the
country’s total geographical area of which 70% of the area is under paddy
cultivation (http://www.gktoday.in/india-ramsar-convention/).
Studies on Wetland Ecosystem Service in India
India has a wealth of wetland habitats of immense ecological importance
and exhibit enormous diversity based on origin, geography, hydrological
regime and substrate types (Verma 2001, National Biodiversity Action Plan
2008). However, in recent decades India has lost an estimated 38% of its
wetlands (Vijayan et al. 2004) which highlight the need for implementation of
wetland conservation and management measures at the earliest. In this regard,
studies on wetland ecosystem services, incorporating ecological information
of the wetland in association with socio-cultural practices of the ecosystem/
riparian people and the economic evaluation of the goods and services would
substantiate the existing knowledge base on the wetland resources. Such studies
would likely enlighten the stakeholders and policy makers for scientific and
sustainable management of the wetland and its resources.
Review of Literatures on Status of Wetland Ecosystem Service Studies
in India
In India, efforts on studying the ecosystem services of wetlands have
started recently. Although the functions and values of some of the wetlands
in India are recognized, but these have not been effectively listed and evaluated
in terms of their ecology and economy. In the present review, we have compiled
the research work conducted in the field of wetland ecosystem services studies
in India in the last two decades. For this purpose, articles related to studies on
different aspects of wetland ecosystems in India were collected from different
sources viz., Google Scholar, Research Gate, academia.edu, shodhganga.
inflibnet, Science Direct and Scholars Archive@OSU. Our literature collection
comprise of published literature till the year 2014. A total of 52 articles related
to various aspects of wetland studies (ecology, economy, and managements)
available from different sources, were collected and the various information
are compiled in the table below (Table 5.3).
Wetland Ecosystem Services and its Valuation with Special Reference … 65
Table 5.3: Wetlands Ecosystem Service Studies in India
Author(s) Parameters Studied State Type of Economic
Ecosystem Valuation of the
Service Studies Wetland done
(Yes/No)
Verma (2001) Benefits from wetland due to its direct uses Madhya Pradesh Provisioning, Yes
(drinking water, fish production, boating, (Bhoj Wetland; regulating and
Trapa
cultivation etc.) and indirect uses Ramsar site) cultural services
(water quality purification cost, recreation etc.).
Das
et al
. (2002) Benefits from wetland due to fishery, West Bengal Provisioning Yes
irrigation and jute retting service
Aaranyak (2003) Benefits from wetland due to fishing, Assam (Deepor Beel; Provisioning service No
agriculture, pottery, and selling of firewood. Ramsar site)
Ramachandra and Benefits from wetland due to direct uses Karnataka Provisioning, Yes
Sreekantha (2006) (fishery and agriculture) and indirect uses regulating,
(nutrient retention, flood control, groundwater supporting and
recharge and biodiversity values) cultural services
Prasar
et al
. (2006) Benefits from wetland due to fishery and Himachal Pradesh Provisioning and Yes
production of wheat, fodder and thatch (Pong dam wetland; cultural services
grasses, recreation value etc. Ramsar site)
Jerath
et al
. (2008) Benefits from wetland due to sustainable Punjab (Harike, Kanjli and Provisioning No
utilization of wetland resources Ropar wetlands; service
Ramsar sites)
Ganguli
et al
. (2008) Benefits from wetland due to ecotourism Assam Cultural service No
Leima
et al
. (2008) Benefits from wetland due to fishing Manipur (Loktak lake; Provisioning service Yes
and harvesting aquatic plants Ramsar site)
(Contd…)
66 Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Author(s) Parameters Studied State Type of Economic
Ecosystem Valuation of the
Service Studies Wetland done
(Yes/No)
Mukherjee (2008) Benefits from wetland due to cultivation, West Bengal Provisioning Yes
irrigation, fisheries, domestic uses of water service
(e.g., bathing and washing),
jute retting and fodder
Sreeja
et al
. (2009) Nutrient retention capacity and its Kerala Regulating service Yes
economic valuation in wetland
Khan and Shah (2010) Biomass changes and nutrient lock-up Jammu and Kashmir Supporting service No
efficiency of macrophytes in wetland
Srinivasan (2010) Ecological and economic Kerala Provisioning No
importance of wetland service
Sarma and Saikia (2010) Various use of wetland plants, Assam Provisioning and No
fishing, recreation and religious practices cultural services
Singh
et al
. (2010) Biomass dynamics of Manipur Supporting No
macrophytic species in wetland service
Biswas
et al
. (2010) Human dependency on wetland West Bengal Provisioning service Yes
Kumar and Narain (2010) Medicinal properties of wetland plants North Central India Provisioning service No
Deka (2011) Potentiality for ecological Tripura (Rudrasagar lake; Cultural service No
research in wetland Ramsar site)
Jain
et al
. (2011) Edible wetland plants Manipur Provisioning service Yes
Ramachandra
et al
. Benefits from wetland due to domestic use, Bengaluru Provisioning Yes
(2011) agriculture, fisheries, firewood, fodder etc. service
Bhatt and Abdullah Bio-diversity preservation in wetland Jammu and Kashmir Cultural service Yes
(2011) (Hokera Wetland;
Ramsar site)
(Contd…)
Wetland Ecosystem Services and its Valuation with Special Reference … 67
Author(s) Parameters Studied State Type of Economic
Ecosystem Valuation of the
Service Studies Wetland done
(Yes/No)
Panda and Misra (2011) Medicinal values of wetland plants Orissa Provisioning service No
Verma and Negandhi (2011) Multiple functions Madhya Pradesh; Provisioning No
provided by wetland (Bhoj Wetland; service
Ramsar site)
Kumar
et al
. (2011) Relationship between wetland ecosystem Orissa (Chilika lake; Provisioning No
services and poverty reduction Ramsar site) service
Biswasroy
et al
. (2011) Utilization of various wetland resources West Bengal Provisioning service No
Kensa (2011) Utilization of wetland plants Tamil Nadu Provisioning service No
Puste
et al
. (2012) Utilization of wetland ecosystem through Indian Provisioning No
integration of fish-crop diversification sub-tropics service
Chaudhury
et al
. (2012) Direct and indirect West Bengal Provisioning, regulating No
benefits of the wetland (East Kolkata and cultural services
wetlands;
Ramsar site)
Kumar
et al
. (2012) Wetland resource utilization Bihar Provisioning service No
Bhattacharya Biodiversity, traditional practices and West Bengal Provisioning and No
et al
. (2012) sustainability issues of wetland (East Kolkata regulating services
Wetlands;
Ramsar site)
Debroy and Role of mangroves against natural calamities Tamil Nadu Provisioning and Yes
Jayraman (2012) like heavy rainfall and floods and contribution regulating services
of mangroves to its ecosystem people for
fishery and firewood collection
(Contd…)
68 Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Author(s) Parameters Studied State Type of Economic
Ecosystem Valuation of the
Service Studies Wetland done
(Yes/No)
Kataki
et al
. (2012) Potential of wetland plant Assam Provisioning service No
(
Ipomoea carnea
) for
bio-energy generation
Khaleel (2012) Various services provided Kerala Provisioning, regulating Yes
by mangrove wetlands and cultural services
Banerjee
et al
. (2012) Utilization of macrophytes West Bengal Provisioning service No
in the wetland
Misra
et al
. (2012) Wetlands plants for different uses Orissa Provisioning service No
Phangchopi
et al
. (2012) Wetland plants and animals Assam Provisioning service No
Roy
et al
. (2012) Income generation to the ecosystem people West Bengal Provisioning Yes
through wetland farming, fishing, animal service
husbandry, cottage industry and
daily wage laborer
Bordoloi (2013) Benefits from wetland due to Assam Provisioning No
fishery and mustard oil seed production service
Laishram and Dey Benefits from wetland due to source of Manipur Provisioning No
(2013) drinking water, fishing and firewood (Loktak Lake; service
collection for the ecosystem people Ramsar site)
of the wetland
Singh
et al
. (2013) Benefits from wetland due to maintenance of Delhi Regulating, supporting, No
water level of the floodplain, control of floods, cultural and provisioning
maintenance of moisture regimes during lean services
periods, bioaccumulation of key nutrients for
pollution regulation, biodiversity support,
tourism and income generation of the
ecosystem people
(Contd…)
Wetland Ecosystem Services and its Valuation with Special Reference … 69
Author(s) Parameters Studied State Type of Economic
Ecosystem Valuation of the
Service Studies Wetland done
(Yes/No)
Sarmah
et al
. (2013) Medicinal uses of wetland plants Assam Provisioning service No
Vanaja (2013) Benefits from wetland due to rice Kerala Provisioning No
cultivation and aquaculture service
Jyothi and Potential of wetland floral Kerala Provisioning No
Sureshkumar (2013) resources in healthcare service
Mukherjee and Wetland resource utilization West Bengal Provisioning service No
Palit (2013)
Pathak and Sharma (2013) Bioresources of the wetland Assam Provisioning service No
Kar
et al
. (2014) Various uses of wetland macrophytes Assam Provisioning service No
Das
et al
. (2014) Potential for concurrent rice-fish Assam Provisioning service No
culture in wetland rice fields
Das
et al
. (2014) Biodiversity conservation West Bengal Cultural service No
Deka and Sharma (2014) Utilization of wetland resources Assam Provisioning service No
Miria and Khan Carbon storage patterns in the wetland Pondicherry Regulating No
(2014) sediments as ‘carbon sink’ service
Abdar (2014) Role of birds which visit wetlands in Maharashtra Regulating No
delivery of ecosystem services like service
pest control, pollination and seed
dispersal in wetlands
Gupta and Debnath Use of wetland for irrigation, West Bengal Provisioning No
(2014) pisiculture and domestic purposes service
70 Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Fig. 5.2: Status of wetland ecosystem services studies in India
Fig. 5.3: Economic valuation in context of wetland ecosystem services studies in India
The review reveals that some studies investigated the ecological aspects
of wetlands such as wetland plant and animal diversity, role of wetland
sediments as sink for carbon, biomass dynamics and nutrient lock up
efficiency of wetland plants, and nutrient retention efficiency of wetland,
while others stressed on its economy and its contribution to human welfare
through its various biophysical components (Table 5.3). Very little research
Wetland Ecosystem Services and its Valuation with Special Reference … 71
work has concentrated on the link between the wetland ecology and human
welfare particularly its ecosystem people (which in fact, show how the
ecosystem people of the wetlands get benefit, from functioning of such
ecosystems, free of cost). Such kind of studies can be regarded as
comprehensive in the perspective of ‘ecosystem service’ studies. However,
if we categorize the type of wetland ecosystem service studies in India till
the year 2014, we can see that most of the studies were done on provisioning
services (Figure 5.2), and in most of the studies economic evaluation of the
services have not been done (Figure 5.3). A majority of the studies conducted
on wetlands have emphasized its importance on socio-cultural aspect and
very few studies have established the true perspective of ‘ecosystem services’.
Based on the above review, it can be concluded that the wetlands in
India have received inadequate attention from ecosystem service perspective.
Till date, the research on wetlands in India has mainly focused on limnology
and ecological/environmental economics. However, the physical alterations
in wetlands in term of changing land use at micro-level and the associated
change in the socio-economy of its ecosystem people have not been explored
substantially. The study also reveals that out of 26 Ramsar Wetlands in India,
only 11 wetlands viz., Bhoj Wetland (Madhya Pradesh), Deepor Beel (Assam),
East Calcutta Wetlands (West Bengal), Harike wetland (Punjab), Hokera
Wetland (Jammu and Kashmir), Kanjli wetland (Punjab), Loktak Lake
(Manipur), Pong Dam Lake (Himachal Pradesh), Roopar (Punjab), Rudrasagar
Lake (Tripura) and Chilika Lake (Orissa), have been studied to understand
some aspects of ecosystem service. There are limited studies related to the
supporting and regulating services provided by the wetlands in India. Besides,
our analysis also revealed that in most of the studies economic analysis has
not been done. It may be mentioned that all wetlands, irrespective of their
designation as Ramsar sites, have their own intrinsic value. The importance
of wetlands needs to be acknowledged and revealed through various
scientific studies. Such in-depth research would be able to link up overall
ecology of the wetland with human welfare. Through such studies, the
ecosystem people and management authorities would be able to appreciate
the link between healthy ecosystem and human well being. This would
motivate the involvement of the local masses in safeguarding and managing
their wetlands and various wetland resources in a sustainable way. It would
also help the policy makers in designing diverse management strategies for
different wetlands based on their potential ecological functions in the region.
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... In Zimbabwe, the capacity of dambos to allow for multiple cropping and to retain moisture for long periods has resulted in their widespread use for cultivation [20,21]. Wetlands therefore play a vital role in reducing poverty through their provisioning services of food production, in particular [6,11,15,22,23]. Increased rural populations and changes in socioeconomic practices have increased the demand for provisioning services [11,24,25] especially related to the commercialisation of wetland agriculture. ...
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... In India, climatic and topographic variations support diverse wetland habitats ranging from high-altitude Himalayan lakes to the floodplains in river basins (Prasad et al. 2002;Sarkar and Das 2016). Of the total 1 million ha area covered by floodplain wetlands in India (Sarkar and Borah 2017), the state of Assam in 366 P. Sarkar and T. Das Northeast India has about 1392 wetlands spreading over an area of 0.1 million ha (http://aquafind.com/articles/Floodplain_Wetlands_Of_India.php). ...
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Bonn Challenge is an ambitious global restoration pledge that was launched in 2011, with the nature-based solutions (NbS) strategy of forest landscape restoration (FLR) as its underlying principle. India has one of the largest pledges from Asia with the aim of bringing 13 million hectares of degraded land into restoration by the year 2020, and an additional eight million hectares by 2030, and thus should maintain a leadership position in South Asia on Bonn Challenge and landscape restoration. Government of India (GoI) and IUCN have prepared the first country progress report towards the Bonn Challenge pledge in 2018 which showed that India has already brought 9.8 million hectares into restoration. This report is the first progress report from any Bonn Challenge country and is also unique as it includes restoration efforts undertaken by the government, NGOs and the private sector. Although the government was the majority contributor (94.4%), the efforts of NGOs (3.6%) and private companies (2%) are important as they have the technical expertise to guarantee success. Three best practices of landscape restoration from across different ecosystems of India have been detailed here so that they may act as learnings for future restoration efforts. Lessons learnt from past restoration efforts have informed the design of a flagship project on FLR launched in five Indian States by GoI and IUCN, which will maintain India’s leadership on Bonn Challenge across South Asia.
... In India, climatic and topographic variations support diverse wetland habitats ranging from high-altitude Himalayan lakes to the floodplains in river basins (Prasad et al. 2002;Sarkar and Das 2016). Of the total 1 million ha area covered by floodplain wetlands in India (Sarkar and Borah 2017), the state of Assam in 366 P. Sarkar and T. Das Northeast India has about 1392 wetlands spreading over an area of 0.1 million ha (http://aquafind.com/articles/Floodplain_Wetlands_Of_India.php). ...
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Deforestation and forest degradation due to environmental change and anthropogenic pressure have resulted in significant reduction in the provision of valuable ecosystem goods and services. UNFCCC has emphasized forest conservation as a part of achieving sustainable development. These efforts have been reinforced through new global development agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 15) and the Aichi targets. A strong relationship between ecological restoration and the ecosystem services concept has been established, with the latter informing how ecological restoration may be planned and implemented. Deforestation and forest degradation in the Himalaya are a major concern. This region provides ecosystem goods and services to both upstream and downstream populations. International and national agencies and NGOs have been responding to the challenges of forest and environmental degradation through various planning activities and technologies. However, ecological restoration and rehabilitation of forests and degraded lands is the only viable strategy in the Himalaya to improve the environment, mitigate climate change impacts and support the livelihoods of natural resource dependent traditional communities. Large-scale failure of past efforts can be attributed by lack of a participatory strategy to determine the essential needs of the local population and gain their cooperation. GBP-NIHE has been active in the Indian Himalayan Region for over 25 years, significantly contributing to environmental conservation and sustainability, developing restoration models involving local people. This chapter describes ecological restoration undertaken by the Institute in the wasteland across the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR), to promote effective biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
... In the last decades, numerous research works have focused on zooplankton dynamics in freshwater and marine ecosystems [4], emphasizing the importance of zooplankton species in the maintenance of food webs [5], serving as a food source for different aquatic animals [6]. These oxbow lakes are endowed with many ecosystem services and have a substantial impact on the ecology, biodiversity, and social-economy of the surrounding localities, which makes them a priority for research and conservation [7,8]. These environments are ecotones between lotic [9] and lentic [10] and have regular lateral water connectivity to the main river. ...
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Aquatic vegetation is an essential component of the aquatic ecosystem. Efforts are always made to curtail the excessive growth of aquatic plants in order to prevent them from becoming a nuisance in the ecosystem. One of the ways of solving such problem is the positive economic use of such plants. In the present study an attempt have been made to enumerate the macrophytes and their utilization in a freshwater lentic water body (Borobandh) at Muchipara in Durgapur, West Bengal, India. As many as 52 species of macrophytes belonging to 26 families have been enumerated and their potential utilization has been evaluated. The present investigation revealed the multifarious uses of macrophytes viz., as a source of medicines (Alternanthera sessilis, Bacopa monnieri, Centella asiatica etc.), foods (Commelina paludosa, Enhydra fluctuans, Hygrophila difformis etc.), fodder (Brachiaria ramosa, Echinochloa colona etc.), compost or green manure (Salvinia cuculata, Vallisneria spiralis etc.), soil binder (Fimbristylis dichotoma, Panicum repens), biofertilizers (Azolla pinnata) and other uses (Cyperus exaltatus, Vetiveria zizanioides). These aquatic resources need optimum commercial exploitation for the upliftment of local stake holder.
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Biomass estimation of the macrophytic species were carried out at monthly intervals for a period two years from January 2008 to December 2009. For the present study, the lake was divided into four study sites representing as Site I, II, III and IV which are named as Panchao, Pangalpat, Kambong Leiram and Kharungpat Khong (Shamu Lanpham) respectively. Among the dominant macrophytic species, the maximum biomass was exhibited by Alternanthera philoxeroides with values ranging from 56.41 g m-2 to 183.48 g m-2 in the first year and 53.97 g m-2 to 201.45 g m-2 in the second year. This was followed by Echinochloa stagnina with values ranging from 21.75 to 162.73 g m-2 , Ceratophyllum demersum (34.65 to 155.82 g m-2) Zizania latifolia (19.88 to 140.78 g m-2), Eichhornia crassipes (13.08 to 94.25 g m-2), Ludwigia adscendens (21.83 to 74.76 g m-2), Enhydra fluctuans (4.46 73.40 g m-2), Hygroryza aristata (15.18 to 68.46 g m-2) Hydrilla verticillata (13.16 to 64.70 g m-2), Salvinia cucullata (9.06 to 52.20 g m-2), Pistia stratiotes (11.80 to 50.52 g m-2) successively. The total biomass of 'other species' ranged from 16.51 to 129.24 in the first year and 18.08 to 98.83 in the second year. The total biomass of all species (combined) in the different study sites ranged from 304.01 to 989.95 g m-2 .
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Article History Correspondence to Keywords Manuscript No. c31 Bio-resources from the wetlands form the major economy of the rural people living in and around it. There is need to conserve the valuable resources of the wetlands from various anthropogenic pressures so that livelihoods of the people are secured. The main aim of the present study was to investigate the natural resource dependency of the people living in Ithing and Karang, the two island villages of Loktak Lake and assess the socioeconomic conditions of the villages. Questionnaire survey and direct observation were used for collection of data. Randomly selected households were administered with the questionnaire to obtain information on the various types of bio-resources utilized by them and to find out the socioeconomic conditions of the households. It was found that among the bio-resources used from the lake, fishes and prawns (100% and 68.66%) were the major resources. Water from the lake is used for drinking (100%) and firewood (Phragmites karka, Saccharum munja, etc.) was collected from lake and used (47.33%) as fuel. Fishing and handloom are the major occupations. Average size of family is 8.12 and 31.71% have Primary (Nursery-VIII) level education which is highest in terms of educational level. 54.66% of the respondents were found to have total annual income in the range of Rs. 60,001-90,000/-. Majority of the respondents were found to have own land but lived in kuccha houses (65.33%) and used open pit toilets (46.66%). All the 40 respondents felt that the natural resources of Loktak Lake is declining. Therefore, for the conservation and sustainable development of the lake effective conservation and management programmes need to be taken up by the government, local authorities and communities jointly. Traditional fishing with Athaphums, prevalent earlier has now been stopped by Loktak Development Authority as a conservation measure. Community awareness and participation is essential for successful and sustainable managements. *
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Ecosystem services are the benefits that societies receive from the nature. These may be in the form of regulating, provisioning, supporting or cultural services. Wetland being one of the most productive ecosystems provides these services at no cost. These ecosystems also contribute to reducing disaster risk by serving as natural protective barriers or buffers and, thus, mitigating hazard impacts. But many such wetland ecosystems are tremendous stressed due to anthropogenic pressure. Wetlands on the fringes of river channels in the city are looked upon as a resource for different land use planning. The capital Delhi manifests all the ills that a river system (Yamuna) can possibly face, made the city more vulnerable and disaster prone as evident from frequent incidences of flood, water crisis and disease outbreak. Rapidly increasing urbanisation with limited integration of values and functions of flood plains in developmental planning has led to their fragmentation. Abstract-Ecosystem services are the benefits that societies receive from the nature. These may be in the form of regulating, provisioning, supporting or cultural services. Wetland being one of the most productive ecosystems provides these services at no cost. These ecosystems also contribute to reducing disaster risk by serving as natural protective barriers or buffers and, thus, mitigating hazard impacts. But many such wetland ecosystems are tremendous stressed due to anthropogenic pressure. Wetlands on the fringes of river channels in the city are looked upon as a resource for different land use planning. The capital Delhi manifests all the ills that a river system (Yamuna) can possibly face, made the city more vulnerable and disaster prone as evident from frequent incidences of flood, water crisis and disease outbreak. Rapidly increasing urbanisation with limited integration of values and functions of flood plains in developmental planning has led to their fragmentation. This study is an attempt to assess the present state of ecosystems, its services particularly in reducing the risk of water and climate related disasters like flood, drought and epidemics in East Delhi and part of National Capital Refion.
Article
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Wetlands are an important source of natural resources upon which rural economies depend. They have increasingly been valuable for their goods and services, and the intrinsic ecological value they provide to local populations, as well as people living outside the periphery of the wetlands. Stakeholders' participation is essential to the protection and preservation of wetlands because it plays a very important role economically as well as ecologically in the wetland system. The objective of this study was to determine whether gender, educational status, mouzas (which are constituents of a block according to the land reform of the West Bengal Government in India), and wetland functions have any influence on the annual income of the local community. Considering a floodplain wetland in rural India, the focus was extended to recognize the pattern of wetland functions according to the nature of people's involvement through cluster analysis of the male and female populations. Using the statistical software R-2.8.1, an ANOVA (analysis of variance) table was constructed. Since the p value (significance level) was lower than 0.05 for each case, it can be concluded that gender, educational status, mouzas, and wetland functions have a significant influence on annual income. However, S-PLUS-2000 was applied to obtain a complete scenario of the pattern of wetland functions, in terms of involvement of males and females, through cluster analysis. The main conclusion is that gender, educational status, mouzas, and wetland functions have significant impacts on annual income, while the pattern of occupation of the local community based on wetland functions is completely different for the male and female populations.
Article
Man's dependence and association with the wetlands is an important aspect, as people get benefited by using its resources. Nagaon district of Assam is located in the flood plains of the river Brahmaputra. The study has been conducted to assess the economic benefits derived from the wetland resources by the rural people of the district and also to assess their socio-religious and cultural attachment with these wetlands. Fifty three plant species were found to have utilization for various purposes like medicine (32), vegetables (9), fruits (6), fodder (9), biofertilizer (3), small scale industries (7), religious functions (5), etc. Nymphaeaceae was found to be the largest family containing maximum number of species having utilization of the people from the study area. The fishermen completely depend on fish resource of these wetlands. Such resourceful wetlands of the district have been found to degrade gradually due to anthropogenic activities like, encroachment, residential and commercial developments, dumping the garbage and wastes in the wetlands, etc. Therefore, appropriate measures should be adopted to conserve and save these important wetlands of the district.
Article
Presents 4 case-studies of the management policies applied to wetland environments in UK, US, France and Spain. Based on an OECD Workshop (1989) on "Market Intervention Failures in Wetland Management' the book considers the concept of sustainable development, showing that both market and direct intervention have resulted in failure to control wetland loss/damage. The studies describe measures that should mitigate damage in future; chapter 1 considers sustained use of wetlands from an economic perspective, the remaining chapters comprise the country case-studies. -C.Barrow