With wetland ecosystems across the country facing increasing threat of extinction, the National Green Tribunal today directed all state governments and Union Territories to identify and notify wetlands in atleast five to ten districts under their jurisdiction.
A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said while smaller states may go for less number of districts (for example 5) bigger states like Uttar Pradesh may go for a larger number in identification of wetlands.
"The process to identify and notify wetlands by each states and UTs has to be finalised by July 22, the next date for hearing the case," the bench said.
The tribunal's order came while hearing the pleas filed by environmentalists Anand Arya and Pushp Saini seeking direction to the government to identify all wetlands within the state as per The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010.
According to the plea, the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010 were passed under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, making it mandatory for the government in coordination with the states to identify and notify all Wetlands in the country within a period of two years.
It had said such wetlands have not been identified and notified in the country as yet.
A wetland is a land area that is saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally, and has a distinct ecosystem.