**Know how Indian entrepreneurs curb wetland pollution & help keep India green & trendy**
Wetlands account for 4.7% of the total geographical area in India. They are vital for sustaining our valuable ecosystems.
However, wetlands in India are disappearing, with 35% of the wetlands lost from 1970-2015 as a result of pollution from industry and households; encroachments; and over-exploitation of their natural resources.
**What are wetlands?**
According to the Ramsar Convention, wetlands are land areas saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally. Inland wetlands include marshes, ponds, lakes, rivers, floodplains, and swamps, and the coastal wetlands include saltwater marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons, and coral reefs. Fishponds, rice paddies, and saltpans are human-made wetlands.
**Why is wetland conservation the need of the hour?**
– Critical dor essential services: Wetlands are responsible for providing essential services such as water regulation, flood control, and water purification.
– **Most valuable ecosystem**: In addition, wetland biodiversity is significant for ensuring good health, food supply, tourism, and related jobs.
– **Kidneys of Earth**: Wetlands are capable of absorbing carbon dioxide. It helps in reducing global heating and pollution, thus, commonly referred to as the “Kidneys of the Earth”.
**Where lies the solution**?
The steps taken at the administrative level for the revival and rejuvenation of our wetlands include:
– **National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-systems (NPCA)**:
The scheme launched by the Ministry of Environment, forests, and climate change aims at holistic conservation and restoration of wetlands including lakes for achieving the desired water quality enhancement, besides improvement in biodiversity and ecosystem through an integrated and multidisciplinary approach and a common regulatory framework.
Under the scheme, financial support is provided on a cost-sharing basis between Central Government and State Governments for various activities such as interception, diversion, and treatment of wastewater, shoreline protection, lakefront development, de-silting, Lake beautification, survey & demarcation, fisheries development, biodiversity conservation, etc.
– **Wetlands (Conservation & Management) Rules, 2017**:
The wetlands rules, 2017 was enacted to promote the ‘wise use’ of Wetlands, to ensure sustainable development of the wetland ecosystem. In this context, the activities that have a potentially adverse impact on wetlands are prohibited or regulated.
– **4-pronged rejuvenation of wetlands project**:
The Ministry of Environment, forests, and climate undertook the restoration and rejuvenation of 130 wetlands under a four-pronged strategy, in which the nodal officers of these wetlands were trained in preparing focused management plans and in working out the health of the wetland. For the first time in the country, wetlands were graded between A to E as per their health.
However, bringing a positive change in society requires more than government policies and the coming together of multiple stakeholders. Thus, we bring to you 2 stories that spurred positive change in the direction of wetland conservation, at the community level.
**Know how Indian entrepreneurs curb wetland pollution & help India become green & trendy**:
1.) **Adiv Pure Nature**:
Adiv Pure Nature is a unique social venture, based in Mumbai founded by Rupa Trivedi that produces sustainable pieces of garments and accessories from leftover flowers and other temple waste collected from one of India’s most renowned temples, the Sidhivinayak temple in Maharashtra.
Roses, marigolds, lilies, and coconut shells, from temples that are otherwise mindlessly dumped into water bodies as waste are upcycled to make natural dyes. Beautiful skirts and scarfs are designed with patterns made from flower petals.
Thus, the startup is a beautiful fusion of art, tradition, nature, and innovation that strives to create a sustainable fashion ecosystem in India.
2.) **Gemini Enterprises**:
Gemini Enterprises is a reputed manufacturer and exporter of leather garments since 1987. However, what is special about this enterprise is its strict adherence to ethical and social practices.
It is the first enterprise in India to collaborate with ‘Wet Green’ to manufacture ‘Oliven Leder’ for leather garments.
**What is Oliven Leder**?
Oliven Leder is certified to be a type of sustainable leather that doesn’t cause any harm to the environment or the workers involved in the production of leather.
In place of chemicals like chromium sulfate which is toxic for wetlands and cause cancer in humans, Gemini Enterprises use olive oil extracted from the leaves of the olive tree as a tanning agent for leather.
Gemini enterprises is thus an LWG Gold-rated tannery from raw to finished leather processing.