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Orissa has at Least 78,440 Wetlands
BHUBANESWAR: In Orissa, there are at least 78,440 wetlands. Of them, 66,174 are small in category. Wetlands with an area of 2.25 h..
BHUBANESWAR: In Orissa, there are at least 78,440 wetlands. Of them, 66,174 are small in category. Wetlands with an area of 2.25 hectare or less are categorized as small.
The total coverage of wetlands has been estimated at 6,90,904 hectares. Inland wetlands constitute about 66 per cent.
Similarly, inland natural and man-made wetlands comprise 34 per cent and 32 per cent area under the wetlands. Of the 24 per cent of coastal wetlands, natural wetlands account for about 20 per cent while another 3 per cent is man-made.
This is the information the State Wetland Atlas which Orissa Space Application Centre (ORSAC) has prepared as part of the wetland mapping programme in collaboration with Space Applications Centre, ISRO, Ahmedabad.
The mapping was carried out under the National Wetland Inventory and Assessment Project of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Area estimates of various wetlands were carried out using GIS layers of wetland boundary, water-spread, aquatic vegetation and turbidity.
A major objective of the national programme was wetland mapping and inventory on a scale of 1:50,000 by analysing digital Indian Remote Sensing satellite data of post and pre-monsoon seasons (2006-07). Similarly, creation of digital database in GIS environment and preparation of State Atlas were other goals of the project.
The Wetland Atlas shows wetlands in different categories - state, district-wise and toposheet-wise.
Since wetlands play a critical role in the functioning and maintenance of high levels of carrying capacity of the ecosystem, the information, ORSAC sources said, will be mainly useful for Water Resources Department to understand the status and recharge areas of wetlands, riverine and man-made wetlands for irrigation purposes. Similarly, Fisheries Department can also make use of it for aquaculture development while Tourism Department may also find it handy for eco-tourism development.
The State Wetlands Atlas is slated to be released by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday.
Wetlands act as nursery grounds for many commercially and recreationally important species of fish, shellfish and wildlife. They also happen to be the most productive ecosystem besides being a rich depository of biodiversity and play a significant role in carbon sequestration.
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