GUWAHATI, May 5 – A multi-disciplinary study on the status of Deepor Beel and the threats it face could provide a key to conserving this important wetland. This was a point of agreement of two well-known scientists who visited the site recently.
A Ramsar Site in the Northeast region, its survival is linked to environmental security of scores of people living in adjoining areas, as already acknowledged by many ecologists who have expressed concern over its continuing degradation.
Senior academic, Prof RK Garg, who was here as part of a training workshop of school teachers, organised by Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE), told this reporter that all possible steps must be taken to save this great natural heritage.
There have been research on the wetland but those have been in bits and pieces. Now it needs to be more coordinated, covering all areas so that the bigger picture can be drawn and all important implications are understood, he observed.
Prof Garg, who has trained a large number of people on environmental awareness and protection, said that any effort to conserve the wetland should involve the local people as they are critical stakeholders.
Another academic, Prof Avinash Tiwari, who also visited the Deepor Beel, revealed that he had seen a lot of organic matter in the lake, which could become a matter of serious concern. Eutrophication usually changes the nutrient quality, which has a cascading effect on other areas.
According to him, in the case of Deepor Beel, there is a need to carry out detailed ecological studies, besides keeping an eye on the nutritional status. If the nutritional status changes, it is likely to impact on the vegetation, which in turn would affect the habitat of many birds which nest in that habitat, he noted.