Six wetlands in Konkan to be declared eco-tourism centers
Six wetlands in five districts of the Konkan region of Maharashtra are to be declared ecotourism destinations. The decision comes with the intention to highlight the ecologically important areas and to increase awareness to conserve them.
Conserving wetlands becomes very crucial these days as thousands of acres of wetlands have been disappeared from our country due to human activities. Wetlands are important parts of our nature as they help take out carbon dioxide from the air, act as an important buffer between land and sea and are home to several species of marine animals.
Authorities expect that the declaration of few wetlands as ecotourism centres would help conservation of the existing wetlands and urge people to abstain from destroying them.
The Gorai wetland and mangrove in Mumbai suburban area, Parsik Reti Bunder along Thane creek, Morbe in Khalapur, Hetaoni in Raigadl, Panju Island in Palghar district, Paushi wetland near Kudal city in Sindhudurg are the selected wetlands to become ecotourist destinations.
Wetlands were selected as ecotourism centers based on their size, population of migratory and or wetland birds in it and the unique flora and fauna in them. The minimum size of the land to be selected was 15 acres, or 6 hectare.
“The basic objective is to protect and preserve these wetlands, and promote the biodiversity in these areas. We also want to educate people for them to better understand such ecotourism centres, and increase participation for their conservation. People can volunteer in the development of other wetlands and suggest new sites in different parts of the Konkan coast as well,” said Jagdish Patil, Konkan commissioner.
Environmentalists have lauded the move to declare wetlands to ecotourism sites and said it is a positive step. However, they expressed their concern that the authorities to make sure there should not be any concreting of wetlands and their surroundings, in the name of development.
“There are many more sites which need to be explored and identified. The task has just begun,” said Stalin D, director, Vanashakti, and member of the HC committee