Researchers seek ‘Ramsar Site’ tag for Chandubi Lake

Environment researchers have asked the state government for a proposal to the Centre seeking ‘Ramsar Site’ tag for Chandubi Lake in Assam. The tag has been sought as the recognition can transform the lake’s socio-economic and environmental requirements. The site is rich in natural resources and has a potential to generate livelihood.

‘Ramsar Convention on Wetlands’ is a treaty that gives framework for conservation and use of the wetlands and the resources. Currently, Guwahati’s Deepor Beel is Assam’s only Ramsar site.

Deepak Kumar of United Nations Development Programme and Moharana Choudhury, a Guwahati based researcher, have assessed the economic value of Chandubi and feel it has the potential to get the tag.

Mr. Choudhury said, “We tried to produce a broader picture of the monetary evaluation of this wetland within our limited resources so that people can understand the used and non-used values of wetlands and their potential role in driving sustainable development goals. We have done commendable research on the ecosystem valuation of Chandubi. Despite inadequate and insufficient data, we estimated the monetary value of Chandubi ranging from a minimum of 3,479 to 17,31,690 per hectare per year at the dollar prices during our research.”

Mr. Deepak Kumar said, “Agriculture yield from transformed/converted/encroached lakes does not reflect values lost due to flood protection, fisheries and biodiversity. People who degrade them are not the same whose livelihoods are affected. Wetland governance has been ineffective in addressing sectoral policies providing incentives leading to wetland depletion.”

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