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The Environment Management, Vol. III, Issue I, Jan – Mar, 2017 9
In the report, Restoration of Aquatic
Ecosystem (1992), the National Research
Council defined restoration as the "return of
an ecosystem to a close approximation of its
condition prior to disturbance." The
manipulation of the physical, chemical, or
biological characteristics of a site with the
goal of returning natural/historic functions
to former or degraded wetland known as
wetland restoration. Wetlands cover almost
6% of the world’s land surface and contain
about 12% of the global carbon pool,
playing an important role in the global
carbon cycle. The major wetland systems
are the Sundarban (Bangladesh and India),
Mekong river delta (Vietnam), and southern
Ontario (Canada), where the effects of
climate change are evolving in different
ways.
Wetlands provide significant social,
economic and environmental benefits.
Wetlands are associated with several
activities like water storage, groundwater
recharge, storm protection, flood mitigation,
shoreline stabilization, erosion control, and
retention of carbon, nutrients, sediments and
pollutants. Wetlands can also produce
services that have a significant economic
value such as clean fresh water, fisheries,
timber, peat, wildlife resources and tourism
opportunities. The loss and degradation of
wetlands is driven by several factors, i.e.,
climatic and non climatic. Presently
increased demand for agricultural land to
fulfill the food need associated with
population growth continues to be a
significant cause of wetland loss in some
parts of the globe.
Global climate change is identified as a
major threat to the survival of species and
integrity of ecosystems. Wetland systems
are susceptible to changes in quantity and
quality of their water supply, and it is
assumed that climate change will have a
dominant impact on wetlands through
alterations in hydrological regimes with
large climatic variability. In the era of global
climate change, wetlands are considered one
of the biggest unknowns of the near future
regarding element dynamics and matter
fluxes. Climate change is perceived as a risk
to species survival and the diversity of
natural systems both aquatic as well as
terrestrial globally.
Researchers are looking at the ecological
and hydrological impacts resulting from
climatic events. Climatic events and
variability will make present and future
efforts more complex to restore the
wetlands. The restoration strategies for
different wetland systems are different, i.e.,
floodplains, mangroves, sea grasses, salt
marshes, arctic wetlands, peat lands,
freshwater marshes and forests are very
diverse habitats, with different stressors and
hence require different management and
restoration techniques.
Hence, proper and successful long term
restoration and management of these
wetland systems will hinge on how we
choose to respond to the effects of global
climate change. Though, researches should
take care of restoration practices and should
take climate change into account when
implementing restoration processes as part
of a climate change adaptation and
Wetland restoration: an emerging issue and management in
changing climate
Sandeep Kumar
Centre for Environment Science and Climate Resilient Agriculture
(CESCRA)
Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi 110012
E mail: sandeep2011iari@gmail.com
The Environment Management, Vol. III, Issue I, Jan – Mar, 2017 10
mitigation strategies. There are some
strategies or recommendations for the
restoration of wetland in changing climatic
and other situations:
1. Reduction of non climatic factors: The
reduction of non climatic factors (human
induced activities) that affecting the
wetlands which can enhance the resilience
of natural habitats and living beings in
changing climate.
2. Protect coastal wetlands: This strategy
imposed in the case of sea level rising and
that can be ameliorated with acquisition of
inland buffer zones to provide an
opportunity for habitats and wildlife to
migrate inland. Setback lines for coastal
development can be effective at establishing
zones for natural coastal migration based on
projected sea level rise.
3. Ecological monitoring: It is based on
long term identification of ecosystem
changes and provides judgment to the
potential ecological consequences of the
change, and help in decision making to
determine how management practices
should be implemented. Monitoring can also
be helpful in providing baseline for
ecosystem conditions and undesirable
changes.
4. Training, education and awareness
programs: Design such training and courses
for researchers as well as students to
understand, design and implement wetland
restoration and management process on a
large scale in vulnerable areas.
5. Prevention of invasive species: Rapidly
changing climates and habitats may increase
opportunities for invasive species to spread
because of their adaptability in changing
environment. Invasive species control
efforts will be essential, including extensive
monitoring and targeted control to preclude
larger impacts.
6. Involvement of institutions: Conduct an
integrated medium and long range planning
that incorporates climate change and
variability. This planning should also apply
to institutions, NGOs and governmental
organizations.
7. Understand the nature: Researchers
should understand the nature of climatic and
ecological changes that are likely to occur
regionally in order to properly design
wetland management and restoration plans.

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Wetland restoration: an emerging issue and management in changing climate

  • 1. The Environment Management, Vol. III, Issue I, Jan – Mar, 2017 9 In the report, Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystem (1992), the National Research Council defined restoration as the "return of an ecosystem to a close approximation of its condition prior to disturbance." The manipulation of the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of a site with the goal of returning natural/historic functions to former or degraded wetland known as wetland restoration. Wetlands cover almost 6% of the world’s land surface and contain about 12% of the global carbon pool, playing an important role in the global carbon cycle. The major wetland systems are the Sundarban (Bangladesh and India), Mekong river delta (Vietnam), and southern Ontario (Canada), where the effects of climate change are evolving in different ways. Wetlands provide significant social, economic and environmental benefits. Wetlands are associated with several activities like water storage, groundwater recharge, storm protection, flood mitigation, shoreline stabilization, erosion control, and retention of carbon, nutrients, sediments and pollutants. Wetlands can also produce services that have a significant economic value such as clean fresh water, fisheries, timber, peat, wildlife resources and tourism opportunities. The loss and degradation of wetlands is driven by several factors, i.e., climatic and non climatic. Presently increased demand for agricultural land to fulfill the food need associated with population growth continues to be a significant cause of wetland loss in some parts of the globe. Global climate change is identified as a major threat to the survival of species and integrity of ecosystems. Wetland systems are susceptible to changes in quantity and quality of their water supply, and it is assumed that climate change will have a dominant impact on wetlands through alterations in hydrological regimes with large climatic variability. In the era of global climate change, wetlands are considered one of the biggest unknowns of the near future regarding element dynamics and matter fluxes. Climate change is perceived as a risk to species survival and the diversity of natural systems both aquatic as well as terrestrial globally. Researchers are looking at the ecological and hydrological impacts resulting from climatic events. Climatic events and variability will make present and future efforts more complex to restore the wetlands. The restoration strategies for different wetland systems are different, i.e., floodplains, mangroves, sea grasses, salt marshes, arctic wetlands, peat lands, freshwater marshes and forests are very diverse habitats, with different stressors and hence require different management and restoration techniques. Hence, proper and successful long term restoration and management of these wetland systems will hinge on how we choose to respond to the effects of global climate change. Though, researches should take care of restoration practices and should take climate change into account when implementing restoration processes as part of a climate change adaptation and Wetland restoration: an emerging issue and management in changing climate Sandeep Kumar Centre for Environment Science and Climate Resilient Agriculture (CESCRA) Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi 110012 E mail: sandeep2011iari@gmail.com
  • 2. The Environment Management, Vol. III, Issue I, Jan – Mar, 2017 10 mitigation strategies. There are some strategies or recommendations for the restoration of wetland in changing climatic and other situations: 1. Reduction of non climatic factors: The reduction of non climatic factors (human induced activities) that affecting the wetlands which can enhance the resilience of natural habitats and living beings in changing climate. 2. Protect coastal wetlands: This strategy imposed in the case of sea level rising and that can be ameliorated with acquisition of inland buffer zones to provide an opportunity for habitats and wildlife to migrate inland. Setback lines for coastal development can be effective at establishing zones for natural coastal migration based on projected sea level rise. 3. Ecological monitoring: It is based on long term identification of ecosystem changes and provides judgment to the potential ecological consequences of the change, and help in decision making to determine how management practices should be implemented. Monitoring can also be helpful in providing baseline for ecosystem conditions and undesirable changes. 4. Training, education and awareness programs: Design such training and courses for researchers as well as students to understand, design and implement wetland restoration and management process on a large scale in vulnerable areas. 5. Prevention of invasive species: Rapidly changing climates and habitats may increase opportunities for invasive species to spread because of their adaptability in changing environment. Invasive species control efforts will be essential, including extensive monitoring and targeted control to preclude larger impacts. 6. Involvement of institutions: Conduct an integrated medium and long range planning that incorporates climate change and variability. This planning should also apply to institutions, NGOs and governmental organizations. 7. Understand the nature: Researchers should understand the nature of climatic and ecological changes that are likely to occur regionally in order to properly design wetland management and restoration plans.