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Tuesday, 22 December 2020

WWF to help UT in preparing Sukhna management plan

Dushyant Singh Pundir

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 21

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), an international NGO, will provide overall technical support to the UT Administration for regulating activities at Sukhna Lake.

In a proposal submitted to the UT Forests and Wildlife Department, the WWF gave its consent to work on five key components for preparing a management plan of the lake.

The NGO will provide support in review and analysis of all existing knowledge, information and data. Terms of reference for studies include to fill the knowledge gaps, conducting field surveys (avian surveys, Rapid Assessment of Wetland Ecosystem Services (RAWES) and social-economic surveys), designing stakeholder engagements and conducting stakeholder consultations, capacity building programme for key stakeholders on wetland conservation and drafting of different chapters of Integrated Management Plan (IMP) and finalisation of IMP.

Debendra Dalai, Chief Conservator of Forests, UT, said after the lake was declared a wetland, it was required to prepare a management plan to regulate activities in the lake.

Being a knowledge partner of the UT Administration, the NGO would not charge anything for preparing the integrated management plan for the lake, said Dalai.

Under the plan, the WWF will prepare guidelines to regulate activities, such as boating, number of boats, pedal boats or non-pedal boats, desilting, availability of water in case of deficit rainfall, fishing, and maintenance of lake, etc.

The area of Sukhna Lake comprising 493 acres was declared wetland in June this year considering that for sustaining the biodiversity values, the ecological character of wetland ecosystem needs to be maintained by regulating developmental activities within the wetland as well as within its zone of influence.

After declaration of wetland, various activities, including setting up of industries, were prohibited in the lake. Some activities were to be regulated such as felling of trees, eco-tourism activities, aquaculture, agriculture and horticulture activities. Various activities, including rainwater harvesting, use of renewable energy sources and adoption of green technology for all activities, environmental awareness, were to be promoted.

from The Tribune

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