Dhanauri documentary to be screened at national science film festival – noida

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Noida: The 10th national science film festival, that will be showcased online from Tuesday, will also have a documentary on Dhanauri Wetland situated in Gautam Budh Nagar district.

The 37-minute film by Noida-based birder Anand Arya titled Dhanauri Wetland as Ramsar site and Sarus Sanctuarywill be shown on the first day. The film highlights the importance of conserving the wetland and urges government to declare it a sanctuary for the sarus crane and part of the Ramsar convention that recognises wetlands for conservation.

“I had been highlighting the matter to speed up the process of conserving Dhanauri for several years and the documentary is a step in that direction. I hope that the government and the concerned authorities will speed up the process of officially recognising the wetland and further declaring it as protected site,” said Arya.

The festival is being organised by Vigyan Prasar, department of science and technology in collaboration with Tripura State Council for Science & Technology, Govternment of Tripura. The festival will screen 117 films online on Vigyan Bharti’s YouTube and Facebook channels between November 24 and 27.

Situated in Greater Noida, the 101 hectare Dhanauri is home to over 50,000 birds of 222 species and is also one of the biggest habitat of the Sarus crane in the region.

“Of the birds, 99 are migratory and 123 are resident. As many as 18 species are either vulnerable, endangered or near threatened, including Sarus crane, Egyptian vulture, panted stork, black necked stork and imperial eagle to count a few. The wetland is needs conservation and that would begin with forest department first recognising it as a protected site,” said Arya.

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In 2018, the district forest department first sent its proposal to declare the waterbody as a wetland under Wetland Rules 2017, the government has initiated the process of declaring it a Ramsar site and appointed a nodal officer to the task.

In September 2020, the officials from Wetland International and state forest department on Monday begun ground inspection and terrain analysis to make a case for the wetland to be declared as a Ramsar site and a Sarus crane sanctuary.

“The site is a wetland as per the definition and the groundwork to officially declare it as a protected site had already started. We are speeding up the process of it to be declared as Ramsar site as well,” said PK Srivastava, divisional forest officer, Gautam Budh Nagar, and nodal officer appointed by the state government to initiate legal processes.

Ramsar sites are the wetlands of International importance. India is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention held in 1971 in Iran that seeks to recognise and protect the important wetlands of the world. India has a total of 41 Ramsar sites, including Narora in Uttar Pradesh.

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