Wetlands or wastelands?

Published: Wednesday 15 August 2001

-- Indian government classifies wetlands as wastelands despite the fact that they serve as reservoirs of ecological diversity. During times of floods, they act as sponge, which hold water and release it slowly, allowing groundwater to recharge. Also, they are excellent cleansers of pollutants discharged into the water upstream. Their value has just begun to be appreciated. Recent research has evaluated in economic terms the services provided by wetlands to us. Yet, only six of the numerous wetland bodies are in India protected by the Ramsar convention.

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