World Wetland Day Celebrated in India

by Shailendra Singh 

IMG_9735TSA India, the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and the Gharial Conservation Alliance jointly organized an awareness event to celebrate World Wetland Day on 2 February 2013 at the Kukrail Gharial Rehabilitation Centre.

Participants were welcomed by Mr. VB Srivastava (Wildlife Warden, Endangered Species Project) through an informative lecture on wetlands for more than 100 participants consisting of high school students, forest department staff as well as local conservationists.

Dr. Pankaj Srivastava (Scientist of National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow) discussed the basics of wetland conservation and restoration. Ms. Sheena L. Koeth (Cleveland Metroparks Zoo/TSA) spoke about aquatic reptiles and their conservation. Additionally, Dr. Shailendra Singh (Director, TSA India) interacted with participants to inform them about current status of regional freshwater conservation areas and the iconic species of turtles and crocodiles that they harbor.

IMG_6222The program also included interactive games, educational materials and activities based on freshwater habitats and the species that they support. The event was a part of the “Regional Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation Campaign for 2013,” a yearlong project being spearheaded by the Turtle Survival Alliance.

Ms. Renu Singh hosted the sessions and presented wetland poetry for the students. Mr. Ayodhya Prasad (Range Officer, Kukrail Gharial Centre) gave a vote of thanks and distributed prizes to the winners of the interactive sessions.

The event was coordinated by Mr. Bhasker Dixit and Mr Ashutosh Tripathi (TSA). Mr. Suresh Pal Singh, Mr. Rohit Singh, Mr. Bahadur, Ms. Anuradha Rai, Ms. Geetanjali Sharma and staff of the Kukrail Centre greatly helped with the organization of the event.

The event was conducted under the guidance of Dr. Rupak De (Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Wildlife UP) and Sanjay Srivastava (Conservator, Endangered Species Project).

The event was supported by a grant from Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and received extensive local press coverage. Click here for a PDF of the article from the Sunday Pioneer in Lucknow.