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- Context (PIB): MoEFCC nominated Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) and Udaipur (Rajasthan) for Wetland City Accreditation (WCA) under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
- The Wetland City Accreditation Scheme is a voluntary scheme approved in 2015 in COP12 of the Ramsar Convention.
- It recognizes cities that have taken exceptional steps to safeguard their urban wetlands.
- To be formally accredited, a candidate for the Wetland City Accreditation should satisfy the standards used to implement each of the six international criteria mentioned for WCA of the Ramsar Convention.
- Validity: Once granted, it is valid for a period of 6 years.
- Promote the conservation and wise use of urban and peri-urban wetlands, as well as sustainable socio-economic benefits for local populations.
- It seeks to encourage cities that are close to and dependent on wetlands, primarily Wetlands of International Importance, but also wetlands with other conservation category status, to develop and strengthen a positive relationship with wetlands.
Cities Nominated for Accreditation
- Located in Rajasthan, the city is surrounded by five major wetlands, namely, Pichola, Fateh Sagar, Rang Sagar, Swaroop Sagar, and Doodh Talai.
- These wetlands are an integral part of the city’s culture and identity, help maintain the city’s microclimate, and provide a buffer from extreme events.
- One of the cleanest cities in India that has proposed conservation zones around the wetlands in its draft City Development Plan 2031.
- Bhoj Wetland, Ramsar Site is the city’s lifeline, equipped with the world-class wetlands interpretation centre, Jal Tarang.
- Founded by Holkars, Indore is the cleanest city in India and the recipient of India’s Smart City Award 2023 for its best sanitation, water, and urban environment.
- Sirpur Lake, a Ramsar Site in the city, has been recognized as an important site for water bird congregation and is being developed as a Bird Sanctuary.
- Wetlands are areas of marsh or peatland with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish, or saline, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed 6 m.
- Wetlands are transition zones (ecotone) between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
- Wetlands are usually rich in nutrients and have abundant growth of aquatic macrophytes (aquatic plants large enough to be seen by the naked eye).