2017 Supreme Court Directive
In 2017, the Supreme Court directed that the Government obtain ‘brief documents’ for the 2,01,503 wetlands listed within India, from respective State Governments. In line with that spirit, the State Government of Maharashtra launched a mobile application on World Wetland Day (February 2 2018), with the objective of creating a database on all wetlands. Such a database would help monitor their destruction and thereby facilitate conservation of wetlands across the state. An obvious need was to set up a sub-system to enable gathering of such data accurately & methodically.
Typically, a panel of experts and a timeline would be the next step. However, an innovative opportunity was seen here, for participation from the community – not only to ease out the work and save considerable revenue at administration level, but also to integrate the wisdom from various pockets of society, eventually transforming into hands on education and awareness.
A Pilot Project was conducted in Sindhudurg District with a first of its kind, community driven project. On the recommendation from Syamantak organisation the “Wetland Brief Documentation Committee” was formed by the Honourable District Collectors directive, stood as the backbone of this endeavour. Students from school and colleges participated in the documentation survey, providing them with an excellent first-hand experience on flora & fauna of the region. The complete formation and coordination of the project, including training Talathi& Tehsildar was carried out by Syamantak Organization, Dhamapur.
Protection, Restoration and Conservation
A detailed report on the status of each wetland was verified and submitted through the Wetland App through the District Collector. The same report flagged-on the sites that are in need of restoration. After the completion of ground verification, the State Government now has comprehensive data on the 57 inland wetlands in Sindhudurg District. This factual position about the position of the wetlands helps the government to take the necessary measures for their protection, restoration and conservation.
With this website, it is our hope to invite the society as a whole to be part of this movement, to understand the subtleties of this ecological treasure, to spread awareness and to make change happen.