UP to be brimming with wetlands soon; What is the 'One District One Wetland' scheme?
Now, every district in Uttar Pradesh will get a wetland as an ecotourism site under the 'One District One Wetland' (ODOW) initiative. After the One District One Product (ODOP) scheme, UP forest department officials will be rolling out the proposal for ODOW soon.
UP is home to lakhs of wetlands and numerous Important Bird Areas (IBAs). Those that lie outside the protected areas will also be conserved under the initiative and under the Wildlife Protection Act. As many as 24,000 wetlands, out of the 1.2 lakh require conservation.
Wetlands as tourist hubs
In December 2021, UP's Haiderpur Wetland and, in February this year, Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary were declared as Ramsar Sites, making the latter the 10th one in the state, and 49th in India. Ramsar sites are wetland sites considered to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. In totality, 10 wetlands of UP have been enlisted till now.
Wetlands hold a great significance in sheltering wildlife, as well as augmenting the eco-tourism of the place they are located in. And with the onset of the cold season, wetlands throughout the country are graced with the presence of migratory birds, thus, making it the best time to visit these marshy, swampy and water-saturated natural lands.