World Wetlands Day in Nepal

24/02/2006

Press Release
25th January 2006, Wednesday.

World Wetlands Day Celebration 2006 and 2nd Taudaha Jamboree

Following on the heels of last year's successful World Wetlands Day celebration; Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) is promoting World Wetlands Day 2006 celebration, including Taudaha Jamboree, for two years now.

To undertake actions aimed at raising awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and Ramsar Convention in particular, Friends of the Bagmati in partnership with World Wildlife Fund - Nepal (WWF Nepal) and Department of National Park & Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) is going to organize various events during this celebration.

On 21st January, the celebration began with Clean Up Campaign at Taudaha and will conclude on 2nd February with 'Workshop on Ponds of Kathmandu Valley'. During this celebration interactions and features about wetlands of Nepal are being broadcast through various FM Radio stations including Radio Sagarmatha. The main attraction of this celebration is Taudaha Jamboree that includes activities such as Cycle Rally, Bird Watching, Nature Hike Race and Exhibitions.

The major objectives of this celebration are to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness; disseminating information on values and benefits of Ponds of Kathmandu Valley; and promoting Taudaha as a tourism destination, especially due to Water Fowl Habitat.

The significance of urban water bodies (ponds) as water resources is being better understood in recent days. Increasing population in urban centers has put more stress on water management of city administration. This has necessitated proper management of the ponds for better water quality. Kathmandu valley has more than 40 ponds (natural and artificial) of different sizes. These ponds are used as multiple resources - people use it for bathing, washing, pisciculture, performing religious rites and also use its adjoining area as city parks. The ponds also have a great ecological importance in urban environment - from microclimate control to biodiversity.

FRIENDS OF THE BAGMATI HAS BEEN WORKING TO SPREAD THIS AWARENESS THROUGH DIRECT PARTICIPATION AND RESEARCH.

Taudaha is one of the largest ponds in the Bagmati watershed area. It has also contributed to recharge the groundwater of the Bagmati Watershed. Bagmati, which is the biggest river of the Kathmandu valley, originates from Shivapuri hill, 25 km north of Kathmandu City at an altitude of 2650m above sea level. Taudaha is at approximately 6 km to the south-west of Kathmandu. Taudaha is immensely rich in floral and faunal diversity but today it is under the pressure from rapid degradation due to human encroachment.

Another important aspect of the program is fund raising for Taudaha conservation. We are planning to raise funds by charging nominal entry fee to participants of 2nd Taudaha Jamboree. We are coordinating with Taudaha Youth Club (TYC), a local club to develop a plan to conserve and promote Taudaha.

The National Wetlands Policy has also emphasized on conservation and management of wetlands with local people's participation for their benefit, while maintaining environmental integrity according to the terms and spirit of the Ramsar Treaty.

The students, government and non-governmental organization's representatives, tourism entrepreneurs, tourists, wetland experts, ornithologists, volunteers and general public will attend the events. More than three hundred people are expected to attend the Jamboree on 28th Jan 2006.

By organizing the program as proposed above, we believe, we can raise awareness about the importance and values of wetlands resources. The local clubs participation in this program will further shore up the attempt in conserving Taudaha, one of the important wetland in the Kathmandu Valley.

We firmly believe this program will contribute to the promotion of wetlands values and will eventually help us to accrue maximum benefits out of these important resources.

Hence, we request all concerned parties to support our attempt in conserving the Bagmati River watershed in general and conserving & promoting ponds of Kathmandu Valley in particular.

"Conserve Ponds of Kathmandu Valley"

World Wetlands Day 2006 Celebration and 2nd Taudaha Jamboree

PROGRAMS

A. Taudaha Cleaning up Program 21 January 2006, Saturday

B. 2nd Taudaha Jamboree 28 January 2006, Saturday

a. Bird Watching @ Taudaha

b. Cycle Rally (Bhrikuti Mandap - Sahid Gate - Kalimati - Balkhu - Kirtipur - Taudaha)

c. Taudaha Mela
- Exhibition
- Presentations
- Food Stalls
- On the spot art competition

d. Walk In Activities
- Nature Hike Race
- Mithila Art
- Green Map

Reporting Time & Place: 8:30 AM, NTB Gate, Bhrikuti Mandap

C. Workshop on Ponds of Kathmandu Valley 2nd February 2006, Thursday

Time and Venue: 1:30 - 5 PM, NTB Hall

Organizer: FRIENDS OF THE BAGMATI

Co-organizers: Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN)
Sustainable Tourism Network (STN)
Taudaha Youth Club (TYC) (a local club)
Wildlife Conservation Nepal (WCN)
Nepal Cycling Club (NCC)
Radio Sagarmatha 102.4 FM
Roots and Shoots, Nepal
Urban Environment Management Society (UEMS)

Sponsors: Dwarika's Hotel; Buddha Air; Nebico P. Ltd.; Club Himalaya; E-Net; Gairidhara Khaja Ghar; Mountain Tea Trader and United Marketing Inc.

Supporters: World Wildlife Fund (WWF Nepal)
Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC)

Promoter: Nepal Tourism Board (NTB)

For More Information
______________________

FRIENDS OF THE BAGMATI
G.P.O. Box: 459, Kathmandu, Nepal
T: 977 1 4 470 770
F: 977 1 4 471 379
E: fob@dwarikas.com
info@friendsofthebagmati.org.np
W: www.friendsofthebagmati.org.np

OUR MISSION: TO REVERSE THE DEGRADATION OF THE BAGMATI RIVER

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