By Sumana Bandyopadhyay
Author is Professor, Department of Geography, University of Calcutta, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Urban wetlands are perishing everywhere. Apart from the unplanned growth affecting these ecosystems, planned removal of wetlands has often been part of the government agenda, often for public benefit, with scant ecological concerns. Increased awareness of wetland benefits is the only way out if our wetlands are to be saved for posterity.
Wetlands comprise around 6.4 per cent of the earth’s surface and are found across different climatic zones. Many major urban centres are located near water based ecosystems—coastal, riverine or riparian. Hence wetlands are most critically threatened by the rapid expansion of cities. Cities are not self-sustaining; they are systems dependent on the natural environment. Vegetated tracts, urban wetlands, water bodies and riverine systems are crucial for the city. The productive capacities of wetlands cannot be determined by price or market...