Save Our Wetlands Campaign
It has been estimated that around 100 wetlands are found in Kathmandu Valley mainly in the form of natural, semi-natural and artificial ponds (Bastola & Yonzon, 2006). These wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services such as serving as buffer reservoirs that collect rain water, recharging aquifers, subsiding flood, providing water for irrigation, domestic use, duck farming etc. (Joshi, 2014). Urban wetlands also support substantial biodiversity. For instance, urban birds (Santoul et al., 2009) and mammals (Ramírez et al., 2013) can use these wetlands as refuge. The urban wetlands also serve as pleasant recreation areas for city dwellers and along with fostering human health and well-being (Völker & Kistemann, 2011) oftentimes offering the only places for the people in Kathmandu city to connect with nature.
However, many of these wetlands in Kathmandu Valley are in a decrepit state like the urban wetlands in different parts of the world facing deterioration and sometimes complete encroachment (Jia et al., 2011; Pinilla, 2010). Small wetlands, particularly those found in urban areas like Kathmandu Valley, are also highly susceptible to the negative impacts of urban development projects. These projects often lead to pollution, habitat destruction, and drainage, posing significant threats to the wetland ecosystems. However, restoring urban wetlands is a complex task because local stakeholders and communities typically lack the motivation or incentive to undertake such endeavors.
Recognizing this critical gap, our campaign has embarked on a mission to save the wetlands by harnessing the power and passion of the youth. We firmly believe that young individuals possess the potential to be catalysts of change within their communities. By actively involving them in raising awareness and promoting the importance of wetlands, we aim to ignite a spark of environmental consciousness that will reverberate throughout the urban landscape. The campaign seeks to educate and engage the local community, imparting knowledge about the invaluable significance of wetlands within this unique geographical setting. Through various initiatives, we aim to shed light on the interconnectedness of wetlands with biodiversity, water quality, flood control, and climate regulation, showcasing their pivotal role in ensuring a sustainable future for all.
The campaign is funded by Shift For Our Planet supported by WWF Nepal and Save the Children Nepal and is implemented by Sustainability and Environmental Studies Endeavor (SENSE).
Four activities are planned under this campaign:
Our mascot – “Indra” which is a Black-tailed Godwit bird has been launched to appeal to larger audience for the need to conserve wetlands through animated videos highlighting the importance, state, and cultural stories of the targeted wetlands.
Engaging youths in solving a series of puzzles related to wetlands from historical and cultural knowledge to their ecological importance. The top three winners on the program will win prizes.
Tell us your wetland story
We believe many stories of personal connection; historical and cultural facets remain unexplored. In a bid to collect and document the stories we will organize a story writing competition accompanied by a photo, video or art.
Wetlands are important places not just for their ecological importance but as a cultural heritage as well. We will promote awareness of their importance through and cycle rally where people from all walks of life can come in and join the fun event.