What will you protect first? Water or forest?

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Do you find yourself in the middle of another chicken and egg story as you read the title of this blog? You should, because it is.

Editor of Sanctuary Asia, Bittu Sahgal, has something interesting to say about the Cauvery river in India. Stay with me, we are on the same story. “Cauvery Cunnundrum: States fight over the water, but cannot find the wisdom to protect the water source… the forests.

So, we should have more national parks, right?

I have another story for you, that of the Van Gujjars, a forest-dwelling nomadic tribe in northern India, who for centuries have migrated into the Himalayas every spring. Now their culture and livelihood is at risk as some of the jungles and meadows they call home have become national parks.

As it goes, solutions are not cut and dried.

This year, Peru established that it would protect one of world’s last great untouched forests. Difference between this and the national parks in northern India is that Peru is working alongside local and international conservation groups and the National Park designation also protects land inhabited by several tribes of indigenous peoples, it doesn’t push them away. Or at least, that’s what the article says.

Technically, you are not in a chicken and egg story anymore. It is not this and that. It is different – each case.

Wetlands Day

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It was International Wetlands Day on February 2nd. Simply put, wetlands are lands that are wet. Technically, wetlands are low-lying areas of land covered by water long enough to support aquatic plants and wildlife for part of their life cycle. There are all kinds of wetlands: swamp, bog, peatland, marsh, fens! Wetlands around the world are in trouble and so are the aquatic and wildlife that depends on them.

We depend on them too. Following is an infographic by Ramsar Convention explaining why urban wetlands are important for cities, the various environmental, social and health benefits that they provide us. Learning what is happening to them, being aware that these wetlands are more than just small poodles but big cities in themselves for other species, will help us take development in the right direction – a sustainable development.

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What kind of people are involved in protecting wetlands? They can be conservationists, wetland biologists, water resource engineers, wetlands specialists, wetland scientists, wetlands ecologists, urban planners, etc. It can be you too.

Do you know a wetland near you? May be take a field trip, learn about it as you enjoy your time outdoors. Create a group meetup. Have a family picnic. Take your kid out for some nice parent-kid moments. Go with your friend. Kindle those childhood moments, when you saw small fishes and frogs grow in poodles of water.

I have collected some notable tweets that I saw on this day in a Twitter Moment ⚡️ “Wetlands Day 2018”, mainly pertaining to India and Canada. My first Twitter Moment. Doobook! :D