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Wise Use ?

Indigenous Approach to Inland Wetland Management

The ever increasing loss of natural floodplain wetlands to hydrological and global change, land use change and natural hazards is leading to serious environmental and ecological concerns in the flood plains of Assam, where wetlands (beels)  which undertakes a range of hydrological & environmental function also provide an ambient habitat to a variety of flora & fauna of local and global significance and covers close to 4 percent of the total floodplain area and 1.29 percent of the total geographical area and is therefore critical.

Issues and Indigenous approaches governing flood plain wetland under tropical climatic environment was evaluated at a wetland cluster; Athubhanga, Kharupetia, Bherbeir, Sona, Charaihagi, Duboritoli, Hatiholonga, Bechamari, Gelapani, Kordoi, located at a distance of 70 km, east of Guwahati in the Kolong –Kopili sub-watershed in the Morigaon District, Assam, Northeast India. The geographical coordinates for the site are; latitude 920 17’42 to 920 27’18” and longitude 260 11’51 to 260 09’27”. As an entry point towards Wise Use of wetlands;“their sustainable utilization for the benefit of humankind in a way compatible with the maintenance of the natural properties of the ecosystem” (Ramsar COP3, 1987), RCSD initiated a Multiple-Use Water Services approach involving communities to address water related health issues, to enhance land and water productivity, improve livelihoods, recharge aquifers whilst providing benefits for biodiversity, amidst a number of natural & anthropogenic factors inclusive of government policies that affects the wise use of wetland and the lives of dependent communities.

Based on the understandings gained from Multiple-Use Water Services (MUS) at the homestead and community scale trials,  it is suggestive that MUS approach can be an ideal effort that can assist indigenous approaches to inland wetland management, without compromising with the ways & lives of communities & the ecological environment and offer guidance for the future management of wetlands.




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