World Wetlands Day 2004 -- India -- Chilika Lake

28/01/2004

Celebration of World Wetland Day (WWD-2004) and the Asian Wetland Week in Chilika lagoon India

The Chilika Development Authority in collaboration with the network of NGOs working in and around Chilika and the local community, specially the Children, are all set to celebrate WWD 2004 in a befitting manner to commemorate the 33rd years of the Ramsar Convention. In addition to the WWD 2004, the Asian Wetland Week 2004 would be celebrated in collaboration with Ramsar Center Japan. "Asian Wetlands Week - Children and Wetlands" is a regional awareness campaign especially targeted for children. The purpose of this campaign is to foster interests and understanding of the children living in around the wetland on the values and function of wetlands and their importance in their day-to-day life.

"Asian Wetlands Week 2004" will commence from the World Wetlands Day and will be observed from the 2nd to the 8th February 2004. This year the slogan for the AWW campaign is "Wetlands love children, children love wetlands". During the Asian Wetlands Week, customised programme are planned to be organised including the visit to the wetlands. The objective of the visit would be to explain to the children about the values and function of the wetland and the need to conserve the wetland for our survival. Since these children are born and brought up in and around the wetland, they can better appreciate the yeomen services the wetland provide for their sustain-ace and to inculcate the idea of conservation of the wetland in them.

The activities planned are as follows:

(i) Celebration of world wetland day in village Kumandala

This year the WWD-2004 would be celebrated in village Kumandala. It is a fishermen village located in the central sector of Chilika. The villagers along with the school children will participate in a competition of rafting. The raft would be made of the trunk of banana plants. About 500 participants will take part in the race from the nearby fishermen villages. Prior to this competition amongst the local school children on essay writing, debate and painting for local schools would be organised on environmental education and wetlands conservation themes.

Pallishree, a leading grass root level NGO, who is running 10 nos of Centre for Environment Awareness and Education (CEAE) in the outreach villages of Chilika will organise a programme "Discover Chilika by boat". Under this programme the students would be encouraged to move into the lake by boat with the scientific personnel of CDA and will study the flora and fauna and would be explained about the water quality of the lagoon. The students would also do the bird watching with the help of the scientist from Bombay Natural History Society a leading institution on ornithology. The student along with the villagers will clean the garbage and solid waste in and around their village in the afternoon. The Ramsar brochure titled "Working for Wetlands" is translated in local language i.e. Oriya and would be released on 2nd February 2004. A special issue of the newsletter in local language will be released on the occasion.

(ii) Celebration of AWW-2004 on 3rd February 2004

The AWW-2004 would be celebrated to cover all the sector of the lagoon. The children would be encouraged to participate in the events. The programme will commence from the village Satapada (along the outer channel of the lagoon) and Pathara (along the southern sector of the lagoon). The activities planned are "Discover Chilika by boat". Under this programme the students would be encouraged to move into the lake by boat with the scientific personnel of CDA and will study the flora and fauna and would be explained about the water quality of the lagoon. Essay, debate, and painting competition amongst the school children on wetland conservation themes. A treasure hunt quiz with educational materials available in Satapada and Pathara CEAE. The children will move with placards and do a padayatra around the village.

On 4th Feb.04 the same programme would be repeated in village Manhisa an island village along the outer channel and in village Chandraput located in the central sector of the lagoon. Again the activities would centre around the CEAEs located in the above two villages.

On 5th Feb.04 the same programme would be repeated in village Parala an island village along the outer channel and in village Kumandala located in the central sector of the lagoon. Again the activities would centre around the CEAEs located in the above two villages.

On 6th Feb.04 the same programme would be repeated in village Gurubai an island village along the outer channel and in village Hatabaradi located in the central sector of the lagoon. Again the activities would centre around the CEAEs located in the above two villages.

On 7th Feb.04 the same programme would be repeated in village Baghamunda an island village along the outer channel and in village Kalupadaghat located in the northern sector of the lagoon. Again the activities would centre around the CEAEs located in the above two villages.

On the 7th Feb.04 there will be valedictory function at Kalupadaghat High School (Tangi), Khurda. Kalupadaghat is a big fishermen village. During the valedictory function the children from the villages where the AWW activities were carried out during the AWW week will gather and prize would be distributed to the successful student and children.

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