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New Wetland Conservation Rules Notified by Environment Ministry

Published on October 02, 2017
The Centre has notified a new set of rules under the head Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017 replacing the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010.
New Wetland Conservation Rules Notified by Environment Ministry
The new rules will replace the 2010 version of the rules.

Highlights of the rules

  • Encroachments on wetlands stand is banned. 
  • Solid waste dumping, discharge of untreated waste and effluents from industries, cities, towns, villages, and other human settlements into wetlands is banned
  • A State Wetlands Authority in each State and union territories that will be headed by the State’s environment minister will be set up.
  • The powers have been given to the State governments so that protection and conservation work can be done at the local level. Central government has mainly retained powers regarding monitoring
  • A National Wetlands Committee, which will be headed by the MoEFCC Secretary will investigate and oversee the proper implementation of the policies.
  • The Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP) was in the forefront in expressing reservations over the draft proposals and the KSSP had submitted a set of 14 objections with suggestions “for correcting the anomalies”.
  • An integrated management plan for each wetland in the new notification was a suggestion placed by the KSSP.

What are wetlands?

  • Wetlands can be defined as lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water. 
  • They support rich biodiversity and provide a wide range of ecosystem services such as water storage, water purification, flood mitigation, erosion control, aquifer recharge and others.
  • There are at least 115 wetlands that are officially identified by the central government and of those 26 are identified as wetlands of international importance under Ramsar Convention which is an international intergovernmental treaty for the conservation of wetlands. 
  • India is a party to the treaty.

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