A number of scientific papers had been presented by scientists from India and
and abroad on different aspects of wetlands, including energetics, nutrient cycling,
biodiversity, disease and health of the biota (particularly the fishes), sustainable
utilization, management and conservation of the wetlands and their biota, reclamation
& restoration of the wetlands & their modeling.
On the basis of discussions and deliberations held in the Symposium, the following
recommendations are unanimously adopted :
Recommendation No 1: The Symposium recommends integration of different
Government Agencies for effective implementation of activities related to restoration
of wetlands, their sustainable utilization & conservation.
Recommendation No 2:It is recommended that a National Committee for Lakes and
Wetlands reclamation, restoration & development be formed to formulate a National
Policy to evolve strategies for their sustainable utilization and c onservation. (Funds
be made available from National & International sources to the Centre for Ecological
Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, to go ahead with the restoration of the Lakes in
collaboration with National & International Organizations in view of the importance
of Lakes and Wetlands in rural development).
Recommendation No 3: A Comprehensive Plan be prepared to study selective,
representative Wetlands in a phased manner to create database with regard to their
present status,sustainable use,management and conservation and to formulate strategies
for their long term management. Regular monitoring of ecosystems through the
involvement of Schools, Colleges & Universities. (For this purpose, funds be made
available to Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore to
implement proposal in collaboration with National and International Organizations.).
Recommendation No 4: A Comprehensive Action Plan be chalked out immediately
for taking care of health, disease and quarantine aspects of the aquatic biota. The
aspects assume importance in view of the still persisting virulent disease like Epizootic
Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS) among the freshwater fishes of India . A National
Committee be formed to tackle such health and disease problems among the aquatic
biota which has been a concern to the society as a whole. The committee be entrusted
to find ways and means to control the epidemic.
Recommendation No 5: India being a Megadiversity region, with hotspots in Western
Ghats and North Eastern regions, a comprehensive action plan be chalked out to study
the aquatic biodiversity of the inland water bodies of the country.Centre for Ecological
Sciences (CES) be entrusted to co-ordinate the aspect with collaboration at National
and International levels.
Recommendation No 6: Mass awareness programme be chalked out and implemented
through Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations(NGO)for popularization
of the importance of the lakes, wetlands and rivers, and their role in the aquatic
biodiversity and sustenance of human civilization. CES be entrusted to co-ordinate
the aspect with collaboration from Governmental and Non Governmental
Organization at National and International levels.
Recommendation No 7: Lakes & Ponds in each Zilla Panchayath area be identified
and their streams recharged through peoples participation. People should be made
aware of their significance so that reclamation and conservation of these water bodies
be taken up effectively.
Recommendation No 8: Temporary ponds be identified and their diversity explored
to delineate their contribution to the society.
Recommendation No 9: People's watchdog team to stop the dumping of wastes into
water bodies and the catchment area protection. Steps should be taken to bring in
aesthetic sense among the public which will help protect the lakes.
Recommendation No 10: Fishermens socio - economic aspects to be taken into
consideration while formulating wetland policies.
Recommendation No 11: Students involvement including curriculum development
concerning the protection of the ecosystem.
Recommendation No 12: Ownership and legal status of lakes and the inhabitants
around to be properly defined.
Recommendation No 13: Easy access for scientists and students to investigate the
status of wetlands in protected areas. Free access of data , Survey of India
toposheets, along with GIS and Remote Sensing data be made available.
Recommendation No 14: Introduction of exotic fishes into lakes to be permitted
only after clearance from Fishery experts.
Recommendation No 15: Education and training:
Participants strongly felt that the public needs to be better informed about the
rationale, goals and methods of aquatic ecosystem restorations. In addition, scientists
and researchers with the broad training needed for aquatic ecosystem restoration,
management and conservation are in short supply. The lake 2000 recommends are
Public education and outreach should be components of aquatic ecosystem
restorations. Lake Associations and citizen monitoring groups have proved
helpful in educating the general public, and effort should be made to ensure
that such groups have accurate information about the causes of lake
degradation and various restoration methods.
Funding is needed for both undergraduate and graduate programmes in
aquatic ecosystem restorations . Training programmes should cause
traditional disciplinary boundaries such as those between basic and
applied ecology : between water quality management and fisheries or
wildlife management : among lakes, streams, river, coastal wetlands and
In this regard Lake 2000 recommends :
- Organizing three to four week training course in the year 2001. Training
modules include aspects of
- Limnology of lakes, reservoirs and wetlands
- Coastal wetlands
- Watershed hydrology/Urban hydrology.
- Ground water and hydrogeology
- Monitoring and modeling
- Restoration methodologies and conservation strategies.
- Remediation measures.
- Integrated management of water quality and quantity with ecosystem protection.
- Land use, urban planning, Geographic Information System, Remote sensing.
- Sustainable water resources management and water resources policy.
- Organizing an International Symposium in November/December 2002 to discuss
research needs for the restoration conservation and management of wetlands.
Recommendation No 16: The National and State Governments should support
research and development, watershed-scale restorations that integrate lake, stream
and wetland components. State agencies, Non-Governmental organizations and
University researchers should participate in planning, implementing and evaluating
restoration projects. In addition, an inter-agency programme under Karnataka State
Council for Science and Technology could be formed to co-ordinate the selection,
planning and evaluation of these pilot projects. The research and implementation of
the projects could be managed by the participating agencies.
Recommendation No 17: Lake 2000 believes that goals for restoration of lakes
need to be realistic and should be based on the concept of expected conditions for
individual eco-regions. Further development of project selection and evaluation
technology based on eco-region definitions and description should be encouraged
and supported by the national and state government agencies.
Research and development are needed in several areas of applied limnology, and
this programme should take an experimental approach which emphasizes
manipulation of whole ecosystems.
Improved techniques for littoral zone and aquatic microphytes management needs to
be developed. Research should go beyond the removal of nuisance microphytes to
address the restoration of native species that are esse ntial for waterfowl and fish
habitat . Basic research is necessary to improve understanding of fundamental
limnological processes in littoral zones and the interactions between littoral and
pelagic zones of lakes.
Biomanipulation (foodweb management) has great potential for low-cost and long-
term management of lakes, and research in this emerging field must be stimulated.
Innovative and low-cost approaches to contaminant clean up in lakes need to be
The relations between loadings of stress-causing substances and responses of lakes
need to be understood more precisely. Research should be undertaken to improve
predictions of trophic state and nutrient loading relationships.
Improved assessment programmes are needed to determine the severity and extent
of damage in lakes and wetlands and a change in status over time. Innovative basic
research is required to improve the science of assessment and monitoring. There is
a great need for cost effective, reliable indicators of ecosystems function, including
those that would reflect long-term change and response to stress. Research on
indicators should include traditional community and ecosystem measurements,
paleoecological trend assessments and remote sensing. Effective assessment and
monitoring programme would involve network of local schools , colleges and
Procedures such as food web manipulation, introduction of phytophagous, insects
and fish lining, and reintroduction of native species show promise for effective
and long-lasting results when used alone or in combination with other restoration
measures. Further research and development needs to be undertaken on these
Paleolimnological approaches should be used to infer the past trophic history of
lakes and wetlands and to decide whether these systems should be restored.
Paleolimnological approaches also could be used to infer whether a lake has been
restored to its predisturbance condition.
Wetland Policy Guidelines
The objective of policy with respect to wetland conservation is:
To promote the conservation of wetlands to sustain their
ecological and socio-economical functions , now and in the
future. Towards this end, the goals are,
Maintenance of the functions and values derived from wetlands;
No net loss of wetland functions on regional lands and water;
Enhancement and rehabilitation of wetlands where the continued
loss or degradation of wetlands or their functions have reached
Recognition of wetland functions in resource planning, management
and economic decision making with regard to all national/state
programmes, policies and activities;
Securement of wetlands of significance;
Recognition of sound, sustainable management practices in sectors
such as forestry and agriculture that make positive contribution
to wetland conservation while also achieving wise use of wetland
Utilization of wetlands in a manner that enhances prospects;
The proposed strategies in this regard are,
i. Developing public awareness.
ii. Managing wetlands on State lands and water,and in other
iii. Promote the wetland conservation in State protected areas.
iv. Enhancing co-operation among State, District, Regional and
Non Government partners.
v. Conserving wetlands of significance.
vi. Ensuring a sound scientific basis for policy.
The wetland policy at State level provides:
- A signal of commitment to wetland conservation and adds as a
catalyst for mutually supporting action across the region;
- A heightened profile for the issue to call attention to
wetland, socio-economic and environmental benefits,to ensure
that wetlands receive adequate consideration by the State
- Direction and support for individual decision makers to
ensure that opportunity for the sustained wise use of
wetlands is realized, to avoid or reserve wetland related
- Clarification of specific State responsibility for wetlands,
as well as a synthesis of existing legislation, policies and
programmes which already contribute to wetland conservation;
- A consistent, co-ordinated approach among the many State
agencies which influence wetlands, aimed at adjusting
activities which conflict with wetland conservation and
ensuring progress towards specific objectives and goals.
A comprehensive policy on wetlands needs to be formulated to
enhance the quality and increase spatial coverage specific to the
region, to offer some of the most environmentally productive and
cost effective opportunities for wetland conservation . The
objectives should focus on addressing the following aspects,
* To reverse the current decline in the wetland base, ensuring
no net loss and long term net gain in the quality, quantity and
permanence of wetlands.
* To encourage partnerships in restoration, management, usage,
through co-operative planning efforts with the primary focus on
* Draft procedures for administration of wetland usage and its
The emphasis is placed on the formation of Regional Wetlands
Forum,involving local educational,public and private organization
(involved in wetland issue). For effective functioning, the forum
should consist researchers, school and college-students and
teachers , economists , policy makers , representatives from
agricultural community, developmental concerns , conservation
organizations, state and local agencies under the collaboration
efforts from the Ministry of Forest and Environment, Ministry of
Science and Technology, Indian Council for Agricultural Research
and planning departments with the following responsibilities. The
policy should address,
1 Defining wetlands, classification(based on degree of saturation,
type of vegetation,usage,soil etc),inventory, planning, wetland
regulation , and conservation approaches (i.e., acquisition,
restoration, management and education).
2 Establish regional and state-wide goals to achieve long term
increase in wetland acreage,functions and values in emphasizing
the economic uses(fishing,agriculture,drinking water supply,etc).
3 Draft programs for preservation, conservation, restoration, and
enhance wetlands acreage and provide technical and adequate
funding for wetlands program.
4 In the formulation/development of consistent standards and
guidelines concerning wetland water quality, mitigation and
monitoring of mitigation and restoration efforts.
5 Encourage actions that promote efficiency of wetlands-related
Permitting processes for the varied usage of wetlands for
economic purposes (as fisheries, irrigation etc) by suitable
policies and creation of concurrent permit review procedures.
6 Enhancing co-ordination of governmental(state, federal) and non-
governmental organizations responsible in wetland development.
Action oriented restoration and conservation programs could be
initiated and monitored through discussion meetings of
academicians, planning and implementing agencies for providing
a platform for exchange of ideas.
7 Help in the development of internal policies within state
agencies like irrigation departments, public works department,
forest department, urban development and others that will
encourage wetland conservation activities which are compatible
with programmatic goals of flood control, ground water recharge,
water management,water pollution control, recreation and others.
8 Establishment of inter-agency task force responsible for co-
ordinating and information exchange among the agencies, boards,
and departments as necessary to ensure co-ordinated development
and implementation of wetland conservation program.
9 Integrate wetland policy and planning with other environmental
and land use processes.
10 Cost-benefit analysis of the wetland resources derived by the
society and economic evaluation caused due to the loss of
11 The forum could act as an advisory to the government in
providing funds for wetland research and conservation programs.
12 Formulate Wetland Protection Act as a legislative vehicle to
restrict any disturbance of wetlands leading to loss in
biodiversity dependent on them.