Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
7. Discuss the importance and role played by Wetlands in the Ecological conservation of Earth. (250 words)
Reference: The Hindu
Why this question:
37 sites in the country have been freshly recognized under the international treaty of Ramsar Convention.
Key demand of the question:
Discuss in detail the importance and role played by Wetlands in the Ecological conservation of Earth.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
First discuss what wetlands are – Wetlands are defined as: “lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic eco-systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water”.
Discuss first the importance of wetlands to the ecosystem.
- Wetlands are highly productive ecosystems that provide the world with nearly two-thirds of its fish harvest.
- Wetlands play an integral role in the ecology of the watershed. The combination of shallow water, high levels of nutrients is ideal for the development of organisms that form the base of the food web and feed many species of fish, amphibians, shellfish and insects.
- Wetlands’ microbes, plants and wildlife are part of global cycles for water, nitrogen and sulphur. Wetlands store carbon within their plant communities and soil instead of releasing it to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
- Wetlands function as natural barriers that trap and slowly release surface water, rain, snowmelt, groundwater and flood waters. Wetland vegetation also slow the speed of flood waters lowering flood heights and reduces soil erosion etc.
Discuss the importance of Ramsar convention. Explain the scenario in India.
Conclude that along with such treaties, Spreading awareness by initiating awareness programs about the importance of wetlands and constant monitoring of wetlands for their water quality would provide vital inputs to safeguard the wetlands from further deterioration.