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JU Organises National Webinar on Wetlands'

JAMMU: Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Jammu, and Green Campus Task Force (GCTF-JU) organized a National webinar on "Wetland Health Assessment and Restoration- A Geospatial Approach".

The webinar was convened to celebrate "Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav- A Jan Utsav to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India's Independence" to highlight the importance of wetlands and to enhance the ‘Jan-Bhagidari' for the conservation of these highly productive and biologically diverse aquatic ecosystems.

Prof. J K Garg, an international wetland expert, and Member of Governing Body, Wetlands International South Asia was the resource person on the occasion. In his elaborative presentation, he discussed the status of wetlands worldwide. "Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rain forests and coral reefs.

They can be considered as ‘biological supermarkets' as they provide great volumes of food that attract many species including microorganisms, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fishes, and mammals. Wetlands play a critical role in maintaining hydrological and various biogeochemical cycles and provide innumerable ecosystem services.

They serve as a natural sponge against flooding and drought, protect our coastlines and help fight climate change", he said while explaining the importance of the wetlands.

He also discussed various threats being faced by wetlands and the causes for their fast degradation and disappearance. In his presentation, Prof. Garg emphasized on the application of geospatial tools for the assessment, conservation, and restoration of wetlands.

"Geospatial techniques can be used to make important management decisions regarding wetland health and conservation, and in communicating the value of these systems to the public. These can even be used to assess changes before and after restoration methods have been applied to evaluate the success of an eco-restoration project", he added.

Prof. Piyush Malaviya, Head, Department of Environmental Sciences, formally welcomed the guests and briefly introduced the expert and the theme of the webinar. Dr. Deepika Slathia, Sr. Asstt. Prof., Department of Environmental Sciences conducted the proceedings of the program and proposed the formal vote of thanks.

Prof. R K Rampal, Prof. A K Raina, Dr. Rakesh Attri, Dr. Neeraj Sharma, Dr. Meenakshi Khajuria, faculty members from other departments of the University, scientists and academicians from other Universities across India, former senior functionaries of J&K Government, scholars, students and the members of the civil society participated in the event.

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