Wise use of wetlands in Nepal
The paper attempts to throw light on Nepal’s stride towards the wise use of wetlands in the country. The paper begins with the statement that wetland is a nascent term, which means many things to many people. In general wetlands are taken as the area covered with water for a part of the day or year. Biologically wetlands become the most productive when they dry out periodically. The Ramsar Convention defines wetlands as the “area of marsh, fen, peatlands or water”. The global importance of Nepal’s wetlands are manifested by the presence of the rare and endangered species of flora and fauna, rest place for migratory birds, waterway for the migratory fishes and availability of wild native rice. Nepal in its journey to the wise use of wetlands has passed through the four stages; primary, awakening, take-off and mass consciousness stages. Nepal’s wetlands have been the victim of human conversion, over-exploitation, pollution of water, invasion of invasive species, human encroachment and deposition of sediments. Nepal has already designated wetlands in the Ramsar list and adopted a National Wetland Policy. The paper suggests that the loss of wetlands can be ameliorated by developing a national wetland act and national inventory, forming an inter-disciplinary body to look over the issue, controlling invasive species etc.