World Wetlands Day 2003: India

17/03/2003

 



Reported by Mr Ajit Pattnaik, Chilika Development Authority

Celebration of World Wetlands Day 2003 at Chilika Lake

The Chilika Development Authority, winners of one of the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Awards in 2002, has been observing World Wetlands Day since 1999. Every year it is celebrated at different locations in and around Chilika lagoon. This year, World Wetlands Day 2003 (WWD-03) was celebrated in a befitting manner by Chilika Development Authority in collaboration with the Department of Environment of the Government of Orissa, the Ramsar Centre, Japan, and the Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, along with the local community-based organizations, NGOs and the communities in and around Chilika.

 

Celebration of WWD-03 at Pathara

The venue of the WWD-03 celebration was Pathara village, a fishing village located on the shore of Chilika lagoon. The star attraction of the celebration was a boat race by fisher-folk women.

Getting ready for the boat race

Team work

Trying hard for victory

 

The programme was organised by Chilika Machyajeevi Mahila Mahasangha, Pathara (Women's Fishermen Federation) and Pallishree, a grass-root level NGO, in association with a number of community-based organizations from in and around Chilika and the Chilika Development Authority.

 

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The winning team!

 

The race was  followed by a public meeting attended by  more than 5,000 fisher-folk. Ms Reiko Nakamura, Secretary-General, Ramsar Centre, Japan and  Dr. T.Tsujii, President, Wetlands International, Japan, both of whom  had came all the way from Japan, and the local people's representatives, graced the function.

 

Three resource books in the local language on birds, plants and fish of Chilika, along with the 8th issue of the Newsletter "CHILIKA DARPANA" (Mirror of Chilika) and a poster of Chilika, were released. The above environmental education.materials were produced by the NGO Pallishree with financial support from JFGE Japan. Prizes were distributed to the winners of the essay, quiz and debate competition which was organised amongst the local school children. Representatives from different village organizations spoke on the occasion. Various speakers highlighted the importance of World Wetland Day and spoke about the values and function of wetlands. A write-up on the wise-use of the lagoon resource in the local language was also circulated. After the function a cultural function was organised by an artist from the village.

 

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Dr. T.Tsuji, President, WI, Japan,
 addressing the gathering

Ms Reiko Nakamura, Secretary-General, Ramsar Centre, Japan addressing the community

 

Another unique feature of this year’s celebration of WWD-03 was the observation of Asian Wetland Week (AWW) for one week in collaboration with Ramsar Centre, Japan. The theme of the AWW was Children and Wetland. The AWW was inaugurated on 1st February, 2003 at Basudevpur High School (a school located on the shore of the outer channel of Chilika). The celebration was inaugurated with the hoisting of a flag and was attended by Ms Reiko Nakamura, Secretary-General, Ramsar Centre, Japan, and Dr. T.Tsujii, President, Wetlands International, Japan. More than 200 schools located in different parts of Chilika participated in the AWW celebration. To generate awareness about the conservation and wise use of wetland resources an essay, debate and painting competition was organised among the schoolchildren. The timetable for the week-long programme in connection with the celebration at different venues is appended to this report.

 

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Release of resource book in the local language

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Cultural programme – folk dance by a local artiste

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Celebration of Asian Wetland Week:
  the hoisting of the flag

Celebration of Asian Wetland Week at
Basudevpur High School

 

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Celebration of Asian Wetland Week (AWW-2003)

Also on 2nd February, 2003, a round table discussion on wetlands in Orissa, with a focus on urban wetlands, was held at Bhubaneswar in collaboration with the Xavier Institute of Management. More than 30 experts from different fields participated in the round table discussion and the outcome of the discussion was drafted in the form of a recommendation.

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Celebration of Asian Wetland Week
Timetable of events

01.02.2003: At Satapada High School. Theme: Children & Wetlands. Ms Reiko Nakamura, Secretary – General, Ramsar Centre Japan and Mr. T.Tsujii, President, Wetlands International, Japan, participated in the function and distributed prizes to the winners of the Essay, Debate & Painting competition.. Students from more than 15 schools also participated in the celebration.

02.02.2003: At Pathara. Ms Reiko Nakamura, Secretary – General, Ramsar Centre and Mr. T.Tsujii, President, Wetlands International, Japan participated in the meeting and the boat sailing festival.

03.02.2003: At Binjola village. Children from more than 20 schools in and around the micro-watershed participated in the celebration and prizes were distributed to the winners of the Essay, Debate & Painting competition.

04.02.2003: At Jaimangalpur village. Children from more than 15 schools in and around the micro-watershed participated in the celebration and prizes to the winners of the Essay, Debate & Painting competition were given.

05.02.2003: At Kalupadaghat village. Children from more than 20 schools in and around the micro-watershed participate in the celebration and prizes to the winners of the Essay, Debate & Painting competition were distributed.

06.02.2003: At Bhusandapur village. Children from more than 10 schools in and around the micro-watershed participated in the celebration and prizes were distributed to the winners of the Essay, Debate & Painting competition.

07.02.2003: At Paniduan village. Children from more than 15 schools in and around the micro-watershed participated in the celebration and prizes were distributed to the winners of the Essay, Debate & Painting competition.

08.02.2003: Forenoon: Valedictory function of AWW at Kalupada Ghat. Afternoon: Valedictory function of AWW at Binjola.

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