World Wetlands Day. Editorial 29 January,2024 issue.

World Wetlands Day
Wetlands are of immense ecological importance.
Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil, or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time during the year, including during the growing season.
Wetlands are highly productive and biologically diverse systems that enhance water quality, control erosion, maintain stream flows, sequester carbon, and provide a home to at least one third of all threatened and endangered species.
India is home to a wide variety of wetlands, encompassing rivers, lakes, ponds, marshes, mangroves, and estuaries. These wetlands are distributed across different geographical regions, from the Himalayan foothills to the coastal areas. It’s quite true that wetlands don’t usually cross our minds like rivers, seas and oceans do.
Celebrated annually on 2 February, World Wetlands Day aims to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and the planet.
The wetlands in Kashmir spring to life with kaleidoscopic colours of countless migratory birds hovering over them.
Wetlands and Human Wellbeing” is the theme for World Wetlands Day 2024. This year’s campaign spotlights how interconnected wetlands and human life are — with people drawing sustenance, inspiration and resilience from these productive ecosystems.
Kashmir has scores of world famous wetlands.
This winter too lacs of migratory birds visited wetlands of Kashmir.
Amidst the tranquil lakes and snow-capped mountains, the wetlands have become a haven for these winged travellers. J&K has four wetlands identified as Ramsar Sites and migratory destination for birds arriving from Siberia and other places. Wular Lake,Dal Lake, Hokersar and Mirgund Lake are among a few important wetlands of the valley where these migratory birds have flocked to for the winter months.
The saffron town of Pampore in Kashmir, besides Chatlam, is home to three more satellite wetlands—Fashkoori Wetland Reserve, Manibugh Wetland Reserve, and Krenchoo Wetland Reserve.
Each year, these wetlands witness myriads of migratory birds including Mallards, Northern shovelers, Northern pintails, Eurasian teals, Eurasian wigeon, Tufted duck, Greylag goose, and Gadwalls.
Wetlands are lungs of our ecosystem and we need to do everything to protect them.