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Mass awareness on wetlands stressed.

LAHORE, July 26, 2009 (Balochistan Times) -- Wetlands are usually regarded as wastelands by many people and a major effort is clearly needed through education to change the attitude of entire societies. In an interview with reporter here Sunday, an Environmental Expert Ms. Sadia Zahid said that wetlands are valuable natural resources, whether drier or wetter, these provide important benefits to people and the environment. She said the wetlands is the collective term for marshes, swamps, bogs, and similar areas found in generally flat vegetated areas, in depressions in the landscape, and between dry land and water along the edges of streams, rivers, lakes, and coastlines. These lands are the habitats that fall somewhere on the environmental spectrum between land and water. Since wetlands lie at the interface of terrestrial and aquatic habitats, these possess a unique mixture of species; conditions, and interactions, as a result, wetlands are among planets most diverse and varied habitats, she added. Sadia Zahid, We get benefits from wetlands in water quality and hydrology, flood protection, shoreline erosion, fish and wildlife habitat, recreation and aesthetics, natural products for our economy. To a question, Ms. Sadia said that many wetlands have been altered by human activities such as farming, ranching, and the building of roads, dams, and towns, adding that it is mainly because that wetlands are often regarded as wastelands sources of flies, unpleasant odours, and disease. People thought of wetlands as places to avoid or, better yet, eliminate. She asserted that many important wetland sites around the globe receive no protection at all, while others are given only basic assistance at best. Even wetlands in protected areas are today under threat, and the wetlands programmes most concentrate as much on managing them as on creation new areas. Overgrazing and over fishing are common in many flood plain sites, while dam constructed or deforestation disturb the water flow. The Environmental Expert stressed the need for creating awareness to change the attitude of entire societies that wetlands are not wastelands but a valuable natural resources for human lives. To another query, she said, Ramsar Convention is an international treaty designed to address global concerns regarding wetlands loss and degradation. The primary purpose of the treaty is to list wetlands of international importance and to promote their wise use, with the ultimate goal of preserving the worlds wetlands by restricting access to the majority portion of wetland areas, as well as educating the public to combat the misconception that wetlands are wastelands.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Jul 26, 2009
Words:417
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