Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: AWC
Mains level: Conservation of Birds and biodiversity
- The first day of Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) 2019 showed an increase in the bird count from last year and almost doubles that of 2017.
Asian Waterbird Census (AWC )
- AWC, the largest such census in Asia, is organised by Wetlands International, is an international programme that focuses on monitoring the status of waterbirds and wetlands.
- The data collected each year is shared by Wetlands International with global conservation organisations such as IUCN and Ramsar Convention, while state coordinators share data with local wildlife departments to ensure conservation and sustainable management of wetlands in the region.
- It also aims to increase public awareness on issues related to wetland and waterbird conservation.
- The census is carried out each January as a voluntary activity at national and local level.
- The AWC is co-ordinated by Wetlands International as part of global programme, the “International Waterbird Census”.
- The AWC was started in 1987, and many birders were initiated into bird counting and monitoring through this project.
- To take part one simply has to visit a wetland and count the birds he/she see there.
Objectives of AWC
- To obtain information on an annual basis of waterbird populations at wetlands in the region during the non-breeding period of most species (January), as a basis for evaluation of sites and monitoring of populations.
- To monitor on an annual basis the status and condition of wetlands.
- To encourage greater interest in waterbirds and wetlands amongst people, and thereby promote the conservation of wetlands and waterbirds in the region.
AWC in India
- In India, the AWC is annually coordinated by the Bombay Natural history Society (BNHS) and Wetlands International.
- BNHS is a non government Organisation (NGO) founded in the year 1883.
- It engages itself in the conservation of nature and natural resources and also in the research and conservation of endangered species.
- Its mission is to conserve nature, primarily biological diversity through action based on research, education and public awareness.