World Wetlands Day 2003: India



Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar

Wetlands are vital but fragile ecosystems that have immense value to mankind because of their role in supporting biodiversity, groundwater recharging, flood and storm abatement, pollution control and many other functions.

2nd Feb. is celebrated as World Wetlands Day all over the world to generate awareness about the values and functions of wetlands. In this regard, Department of Zoology, Guru Nanak Dev University organized a two days function to mark the World Wetlands Day. Interactive session was organized on 31st Jan. 2003 where students were familiarized with the importance of wetlands. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Anish Dua, a senior lecturer in the department, told that three Ramsar Sites (Wetlands of International Importance) of Punjab are playing an important role in supporting biodiversity besides being sources of water for domestic and agriculture usage.

He further said that Harike acts as a good repository of the fish biodiversity. A large number of migratory waterfowls visit the wetland in winters and it is a breeding and nesting ground of many threatened species of reptiles, birds and fishes. Dr H K Mangat, Professor and Head of the Zoology Department in her remarks asked students to show interest & inclination towards the conservation aspects of biology. An exhibition of posters was arranged and a video - film titled, " Wetlands, Water and Sustainability" was shown to the students. This film is provided to the department by Ramsar Bureau, Gland, Switzerland. A group of 45 university students visited the Harike wetland on 01.02.03 where they were introduced to the important flora and fauna. A film on Bird migration was shown to them in the Interpretation center of the Harike Bird Sanctuary.

It is to mention here that Dr Anish Dua and his research group is engaged in identification and conservation of threatened fish species of Harike Wetland.

Dr Anish Dua, Lecturer
Zoology Department
GND University, Amritsar 143005
91-183-2258802 to 2258809 Extn 3399
Punjab, INDIA

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