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World Wetland Day celebration 2006

February 23 , 2006

World Wetland Day celebration 2006

As part of celebrating the World Wetlands Day Celebration 2006 and the 2nd Taudaha Jamboree, Friends of the Bagmati, in support of various institutions, including Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), World Wildlife Fund (WWF Nepal) and Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), has been organising several activities to generate awareness among the people about the values and benefits of the wetlands and Ramsar areas.

On 21st January, the celebration began with Clean Up Campaign at Taudaha and will conclude on 2nd February with 'Workshop on Ponds of Kathmandu Valley'. During this celebration interactions and features about wetlands of Nepal are being broadcast through various FM Radio stations including Radio Sagarmatha. The main attraction of this celebration is Taudaha Jamboree that includes activities such as Cycle Rally, Bird Watching, Nature Hike Race and Exhibitions.

The major objectives of this celebration are to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness; disseminating information on values and benefits of Ponds of Kathmandu Valley; and promoting Taudaha as a tourism destination, especially due to Water Fowl Habitat, according to Friends of the Bagmati.

The significance of urban water bodies (ponds) as water resources is being better understood in recent days. Increasing population in urban centers has put more stress on water management of city administration. This has necessitated proper management of the ponds for better water quality. Kathmandu valley has more than 40 ponds (natural and artificial) of different sizes. These ponds are used as multiple resources - people use it for bathing, washing, performing religious rites and also use its adjoining area as city parks. The ponds also have a great ecological importance in urban environment - from microclimate control to biodiversity.

Taudaha is one of the largest ponds in the Bagmati watershed area. It has also contributed to recharge the groundwater of the Bagmati Watershed. Bagmati, which is the biggest river of the Kathmandu valley, originates from Shivapuri hill, 25 km north of Kathmandu City at an altitude of 2650m above sea level. Taudaha is at approximately 6 km to the southwest of Kathmandu. Taudaha is immensely rich in floral and faunal diversity but today it is under the pressure from rapid degradation due to human encroachment.

Another important aspect of the programme is fund raising for Taudaha conservation. We are planning to raise funds by charging nominal entry fee to participants of 2nd Taudaha Jamboree. We are coordinating with Taudaha Youth Club (TYC), a local club to develop a plan to conserve and promote Taudaha.