Indore & Bhopal nominated for Wetland City Accreditation | Bhopal News

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INDORE/BHOPAL: A month ahead of World Wetlands Day, there were ripples of joy across the state on Thursday as the Centre announced that two Ramsar sites in Indore — Yashwant Sagar and Sirpur Lake — and Bhopal’s Bhoj Wetlands have been nominated for the prestigious voluntary Wetland City Accreditation, along with Rajasthan’s Udaipur.
Union Minister for forest and climate change Bhupen dra Yadav revealed this on Thursday.“Delighted to announce the nomination of India’s first three cities – Indore, Bhopal, and Udaipur – submitted to Conversion on Wetlands. The scheme aims to promote conservation and wise use of urban and periurban wetlands as well as sustainable socio-economic benefits for local populations,” Yadav posted on X.
“This will also provide an opportunity for cities that value their natural or humanmade wetlands to gain international recognition and positive branding opportunities for their efforts in demonstra ting strong positive relationships with wetlands. This is another example of PM Narendra Modi’s commitment to conservation through community participation, and prosperity through conservation,” he added.
Another feather in the hat for #1 Swachh city: Wetland Accreditation to elevate Indore’s global recognition
For Swachh #1 Indore, it’s yet another feather in the hat. “We had submitted the nomination to the state government in November. It was forwarded to the central government to help Indore get the Wetland City Accreditation,” IMC additional commissioner Abhilash Mishra said.
In June last year, IMC had received certificates for Indore’s two new Ramsar sites — Sirpur and Yashwant Sagar. “The Ramsar sites list aims at providing a framework to conserve an international network of wetlands, which are important for global biological diversity and for sustaining human life, through the maintenance of their ecosystem components, processes and benefits,” Mishra said.
The City Accreditation, as the next step, will recognise Indore at the international level for its efforts to conserve wetlands, he explained.
Bhoj Wetland is a Unesco Ramsar Site. In view of ecological characteristics, the Ramsar Convention has recognized Bhopal’s Upper Lake and Lower Lake as wetlands of international importance and designated them as Ramsar sites in 2002. With the ministry’s support, a large-scale integrated conservation and management plan of the Bhoj-wetland was developed by state government. Implementation started in 1995 and was completed in 2005 through financial assistance from Japan Bank for International Corporation (JICA).
Sirpur Lake, Indore’s first Ramsar site, has been selected to hold a celebration on World Wetlands Day on February 2. The secretary general of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands will mark her presence to highlight the importance of conserving such waterbodies. Foreign delegates and representatives from all 75 Ramsar sites of the country will attend the event. Sirpur Lake is a key site for water-bird congregation and is being developed as a bird sanctuary. A strong network of more than 200 ‘wetland mitras’ is engaged in bird conservation and sensitizing the local community to protect Sarus Crane.
It’s a human-made wetland that has stabilized and acquired near-natural characteristics in the last two centuries. Commonly named Pakshi Vihar (bird sanctuary), it’s a shallow, alkaline, nutrient-rich lake that floods during monsoon to a maximum depth of two metres.
It boasts a wealth of plants and animals including threatened species: it supports some 175 terrestrial plant species, six macrophytes, 30 natural and cultured fish species, eight reptiles, and amphibians.
Waterbirds congregate in winter; the site supports 130 bird species in all, including residents and migrants such as common pochard (Aythya ferina), Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) and Indian river tern (Sterna aurantia). The Sirpur Wetland provides surrounding communities with fisheries and medicinal plants, and acts as a buffer against flooding while helping to regulate the local microclimate.
Local communities also accrue benefits through spiritual enrichment, recreation and education. Yashwant Sagar, Indore’s second Ramsar Site, was constructed in 1900 by the Holkar dynasty ruler Tukojirao III to meet the water demands of the western parts of Indore.

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