Why Environmentalists are interested in wetland? Describe various mechanisms for sustainable management of wetlands in Pakistan?

why-environmentalists-are-interested-in-wetland-describe-various-mechanisms-for-sustainable-management-of-wetlands-in-pakistan

CSS Solved Environmental Science Past Papers | Why Environmentalists are interested in wetland? Describe various mechanisms for sustainable management of wetlands in Pakistan?

The following question of Environmental Science is attempted on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. This solved past paper question is uploaded to help aspirants understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.

Question breakdown

In this question, the examiner expects you to explain why environmentalists are interested in wetlands and how we can sustainably manage wetlands in Pakistan. This question has two domains. Now, all you have to do is start with a brief introduction to wetlands, which is the subject matter. After it, you must focus on the first half of the question. In this, you have to write about environmentalists’ interest in wetlands. Make catchy and punching headings and relevant points for better explanation. Add flow charts and mind maps to grab the attention of the examiner. In the second part, write a brief paragraph about the wetlands in Pakistan. Add a map to point out the location of wetlands. Make five to six headings about various methods to manage the wetlands of Pakistan. Briefly discuss the national policies of Pakistan regarding wetlands. Before starting question, make a comprehensive outline that covers all the important dimensions you are going to discuss in your answer.

Outline

Introduction
What are Wetlands?
Why are the environmentalists interested in wetlands?

  • Ecological Benefits
    • Biodiversity
    • Carbon sequestration
    • Habitat of fisheries
  • Economic Benefits
    • Flood control
    • Recreational opportunities
    • Climate regulation

Overview of Wetlands in Pakistan
Steps taken for the sustainable management of wetlands

  • At Global Level
  • At National Level

Way Forwards for Pakistan for the sustainable management of wetlands

  • Community-based management
  • Integrated watershed management
  • Habitat restoration
  • Monitoring and research
  • Sustainable use of resources
  • Legal and policy measures

Conclusion

Answer to the Question

Introduction

Wetlands are important to environmentalists because they provide a wide range of ecological and economic benefits. They help to improve water quality by filtering pollutants and excess nutrients, and they also provide essential habitats for a variety of plant and animal species. Wetlands also help to control flooding and protect against storm surges, and they store large amounts of carbon, which helps to mitigate the effects of climate change. Additionally, wetlands are used for recreation, education, and scientific research. Overall, wetlands play a critical role in maintaining the health of our planet’s ecosystems and are essential for the well-being of humans and wildlife. Wetlands in Pakistan are an important part of the country’s natural heritage and provide a wide range of ecological and economic benefits. They are located throughout the country, including in the Indus River basin, in the coastal areas of the Arabian Sea, and in the high mountain regions of the Himalayas and the Karakoram. . There are several policies already working in Pakistan to protect wildlife and its habitat including wetlands. Still, there are many efforts required to protect wetlands and get their benefits to the fullest.

What are wetlands?

Wetlands are areas of land that are saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally. They include a wide variety of ecosystems, such as marshes, swamps, bogs, and fens. Wetlands can be found in a variety of locations, including along rivers and streams, on the edges of lakes and oceans, and in low-lying areas. Wetlands can be classified based on several factors, including their water source, how long they are flooded, and the types of plants that grow in them. Scientists also consider wetlands as the ‘Kidney of nature’ because they keep our environment clean.

Why are Environmentalists interested in Wetlands?

Wetlands are important ecosystems that provide a range of ecological and economic benefits. Wetlands provide critical habitats for a variety of plant and animal species, improve water quality, support biodiversity, act as carbon sinks, and play a regulatory role in local and regional climates. Wetlands help to reduce the risk of flooding, provide clean water for drinking, irrigation, and industrial use, support recreational opportunities and tourism, and provide economic resources like timber, fish, and cranberries.

Ecological Benefits

Wetlands have several important ecological benefits, including:

Biodiversity

Wetlands support a broad range of organisms and provide numerous ecological services to both plant and animal life, making them integral components of the global ecosystem. As such, wetlands play crucial role in supporting biodiversity and sustaining natural resources. It is believed that up to 40 percent of all global biodiversity is concentrated within wetland ecosystems.

Carbon Sequestration

Wetlands play a key role in the global carbon cycle, acting as natural carbon sinks. Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon from sources like burning fossil fuels. Wetland ecosystems are particularly effective at sequestering large amounts of carbon because their soils contain organic matter that can absorb and store it. Carbon can be trapped in the soil of wetlands for a longer period of time. It is beneficial to decrease the level of CO2 in atmosphere which resulted into reduction of overall global temperature.

Habitat of Fisheries

More than 95 percent of all commercially important fisheries depend on wetland habitats for feeding and spawning grounds, according to The Nature Conservancy. In addition, they provide essential habitats for many species including migratory birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals like beavers or muskrats who build lodges within them. They also provide essential functions such as filtering pollutants out of surface runoff before it reaches larger bodies of water.

Economic Benefits

Wetlands also provide important economic benefits, including:

Flood Control

Wetlands act as natural sponges, absorbing and storing water during periods of heavy rain and then releasing it slowly, helping to reduce the risk of flooding. Wetlands also help to protect coastal communities from storm surges and erosion by absorbing wave energy and reducing the impact of storms. Wetlands have come to be appreciated by environmentalists due to their diverse economic services like reducing downstream flooding risk by acting as a sponge during times when there are heavy rains in upstream areas.

Recreational Opportunities

Wetlands are also of cultural and historical importance, they have been traditionally used by indigenous people, and they are also important for education and scientific research. Wetlands also provide opportunities for education and scientific research, which can lead to discoveries and innovations that can have economic benefits. Wetlands can also increase property values by providing scenic beauty and aesthetic value to the surrounding area.

Climate Regulation

In terms of climate change mitigation, wetland ecosystems can form an important contribution towards reaching global emission reduction targets given their ability to sequester large amounts stored in sediments over long periods. According to UNESCO’s report, restoring 250 million hectares of degraded wetlands with appropriate management practices could help countries meet commitments made through the Paris Agreement.  Furthermore, conserving existing healthy wetland sites will also play an important part in climate change adaptation strategies.

Overview of Wetlands in Pakistan

Wetlands in Pakistan are an important part of the country’s natural heritage .They is found throughout the country, including in the Indus River basin, in the coastal areas of the Arabian Sea, and in the high mountain regions of the Himalayas and the Karakoram. They are home to a wide variety of plant and animal species. Along with it, they are also important areas for fishing and agriculture and homeland to migratory water birds.

Despite their ecological and economic importance, many of Pakistan’s wetlands are facing threats from human activities such as pollution, habitat destruction, and over-exploitation of resources. Conservation efforts are needed to protect these important ecosystems and ensure their long-term sustainability.

Steps taken for the sustainable management of wetlands

It is important to protect wetlands from degradation and destruction through policies, laws and regulations. This can be including the designation of protected areas, such as Ramsar sites. Regular monitoring and research is essential to assess the status and health of wetlands, and to track changes over time.

At Global Level: The Ramsar Convention 1971

The Ramsar Convention (Iran) on “wise use of wetlands” was the first intergovernmental treaty to promote the integrated management of wetlands and river basins and for the integrated management of coastal zones. The convention (1971) is based on the principle of establishment and re-establishment of a connection between human beings and nature. The convention works closely with other regional and global environment-related conventions. The initial concept of the convention was “Wetlands for Birds” which is now totally transformed into “Water for Humans” and the global implementation of integrated wetland and water management. Following diagram shows, how Ramsar is interconnected with other bodies.

At National Level

Pakistan has several policies and laws in order to protect and manage wetlands, including: The Pakistan Wildlife Act of 1974, The Pakistan Environmental Protection Act of 1997, The Pakistan Biodiversity Act of 2018, The Pakistan Wetland Policy of 2018. All these laws provide a legal framework for the conservation, management, and sustainable use of wetlands in Pakistan. They aim to protect and manage wetlands and their ecosystems, promote sustainable use of wetlands resources, and raise awareness about the importance of wetlands among the general public and decision-makers.

Way Forwards for Pakistan for the sustainable management of wetlands

Several methods can be used for the sustainable management of wetlands in Pakistan, including

Community-based management

 Involving local communities in the management of wetlands can help to ensure that the needs and interests of these communities are taken into account. This can include involving local people in decision-making processes, providing education and training and encouraging community-based conservation initiatives.

Integrated watershed management

Managing wetlands in the context of the larger watershed in which they are located can help to ensure that the overall health of the watershed is taken into account. This can include efforts to control pollution and sedimentation, protect water quality, and manage land use in the watershed.

Habitat restoration

 Restoring degraded wetland habitats can help to improve the overall health of the wetland ecosystem and increase its ability to provide important ecological services. This can include efforts to control invasive species, re-vegetate degraded areas, and restore hydrological processes

Monitoring and research

 Monitoring and researching wetlands can help to understand the ecological processes that are taking place and identify the most effective management strategies. This can include efforts to monitor water quality, track population changes, and study the effects of different management strategies.

Legal and policy measures

 Implementation of legal and policy measures can help to protect wetlands from degradation and destruction. This includes creating protected areas, regulating activities such as development, mining, and agriculture, and enforcing existing laws and regulations.

Sustainable use of resources

Sustainable use of resources can help to ensure that wetlands can provide important ecological services over the long term. This can include efforts to manage hunting and fishing, control pollution, and ensure that water is used sustainably.

Conclusion

Conclusively, Wetlands are productive ecosystem as compared to rainforests. Environmentalists are trying to make efforts to conserve wetlands by highlighting the importance of wetlands. In this time of over population, environmental degradation and global warming, it has become mandatory to take great care of heath of this planet –The Earth. Overall, a comprehensive and integrated approach to wetland management is needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of these important ecosystems in Pakistan and worldwide.

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