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Beaches & Lakes
Eco-restoration of Chilika lake reckons as a role model
By Our correspondent  Published on: 20-Oct-2012 03:08:42
Place: Bhubaneswar
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Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minsiter Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said that the eco-restoration of the lake is reckoned as a role model for other wetlands world over.

Eco-restoration of Chilika lake reckons as a role model

The restoration approach adopted by Chilika Development Authority is emerging as the most appropriate and successful wetland restoration model for coastal wetlands within the country as well as the region. The core value of the restoration model is its global relevance.

CDA has taken several steps to promote sustainable development of the Chilika Lake and its catchments through active participation of the local communities and NGOs.  Chilika lake is first from Asia to be removed from Motreux Record due to successful restoration by Ramsar Convention.   I sincerely thank the Secretary General, Ramsar Convention for their support in formulaltion of an integrated management plan for Chilka based on the Ramsar Guidelines.

Odisha is endowed with very rich and diverse wetlands. The Chilika Lake is the largest wetland along the East Coast of India.  The lake is a unique assemblage of marine, brackish and fresh water ecosystem with estuarine characteristics. Chilika is the largest wintering ground of migratory birds in Asiatic subcontinent.  The fragile ecosystem is known for its amazing biodiversity and is a designated Ramsar site. 

I am happy to learn that the management plan for Chilika Lake is successfully completed through a wide scale consultation. The objective of the management plan for Chilika Lake is conservation and wise use of resource for ecological security and economic improvement of stakeholders.

Some of the important issues like controlling the silt flow into the lake through appropriate catchment treatment should be given utmost priority in the management plan.   Chilika is home to rare Irrawaddy dolphins. Carefully planned ecotourism can create alternate livelihood opportunity for the local communities also.  Long-term sustainable use of fisheries resources management through promotion of responsible fishery has been given high priority in the management plan. Chilka being a coastal wetland the climate change issues needs to be dealt with appropriately  in the management plan.

The Government of Odisha have constituted the “State Wetland Management Authority”, for conservation and sustainable management of all the important wetlands of the state. A wetland research and training center is also established for the monitoring of the lake ecosystem and capacity building of the wetland mangers.

I am happy to note that experts and scientists from leading institutions, government departments, NGOs, local communities have significantly contributed for formulation of this management plan. I congratulate Wetlands International South Asia for undertaking this challenging task in collaboration with CDA.

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