Swamps are a spooky, ugly, disenchanted place in children’s stories, books, animated serials and movies. These imaginations are relatively antithesis of the real value of swamps and others where land meets water. Wetlands, as commonly known, are abundant in life and livelihood. Therefore, the world celebrates every year on February 2 as World Wetlands Day to encourage global awareness about the vital role of wetlands in the ecosphere.
Environment has never been a popular subject for India’s major political parties during general elections. Even in the post-1972 UN Conference on Human and Environment period or post-1992 Earth Summit scenario when environment emerged as a strong international and national issue, seldom has environment found an appropriate space in party manifestos in India. At the outset, environment as an issue in the election campaign is still considered a matter of concern for upper strata of societies only.
The rising threat from unpredictable and excessive rainfall, exacerbated by climate change, has warranted a conceptual debate for robust policy formulation. The urgency has never been felt more than now as we witness devastating incidents like dam breach in Laos, the State Deluge in Kerala (India) and frequent marooning of cities, including ‘smart cities’ in India, during monsoon. It has now become a common scenario across megacities and towns when torrential rains play havoc with daily lives of people leading to deaths and destruction of properties.
In April 2018, after a long hiatus, the Neemrana Dialogue was resumed. It is the longest running Track-II initiative between India and Pakistan and the first engagement between the two sides under this initiative was held nearly three decades ago in 1991-92. At the military level, the first ever high-level contact group from Pakistan headed by Lieutenant General Aamir Riaz visited India, and the Indian military attaché in Islamabad and his team was invited to attend the Pakistan Day military parade.
On April 22, Earth Day, with other 129 countries Mongolia is expected to sign the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which was adopted at COP 21 at Paris last December, at New York. While Mongolia, being the largest landlocked country with development constraints, emits a minuscule of greenhouse gases (GHG), 25 percent of Mongolians are facing severe climate impacts. Among nearly 2.8 million total populations, more than 225,000 or 41% of the total herder population have been suffering from hostile weather conditions, including more than 28,000 children below the age of five.