Recommendations for the wise use of urban and peri-urban wetlands in Kolkata, India
Urban and peri-urban wetlands provide services seen and unseen to millions of people and to the environment on which we rely. Wetlands support people’s needs for food, water, fiber, fuel, medicine and livelihoods. Also, they provide vital “ecosystem services” such as purifying water, mitigating floods, absorbing carbon, providing cultural and recreational spaces, and ensuring there are nutrients for farming. However, wetlands face serious risks. They are confronted by a range of threats flowing from modern life, such as urban development, pollution and agricultural use. To protect these crucial areas, this brief offers recommendations on the wise use of urban and peri-urban wetlands in Kolkata, India, as guidance to the Department of Environment in West Bengal and other decision makers.