Introduction and Updates- Wetlands International South Asia

Hi Everyone! Since this is our first post on Grove we would like to introduce ourselves and share our updates.

About us

Wetlands International South Asia is a non-profit organization working for sustaining and restoring wetlands, their resources, and biodiversity in the South Asia region. Its office in New Delhi (India) was established in 1996 as a part of the Wetlands International network which is a global, independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wetlands. Wetlands International is also one of the five International Organization Partners of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention).

The organization has a vision of ‘a world where wetlands are treasured and nurtured for their beauty, the life they support, and the resources they provide. Its mission is to ’inspire and mobilise society to safeguard and restore wetlands for people and nature’

Wetlands International’s approach to wetland conservation and wise use reflects the dynamic nature of wetlands and their connection to the wider landscape and communities and culture. Given that securing positive change in the status of wetlands and linked livelihoods takes considerable time, the organization works for long-term engagement, forging strategic and innovative partnerships. We use a mix of approaches, including technical knowledge, policy dialogue, and field demonstrations for addressing various issues related to wetland management. To leverage change, we work with national and state governments, knowledge centers, civil society, and the private sector, often acting as catalysts to enable joined-up actions.

The work of Wetlands International South Asia spans the following five major areas, individually and collectively contributing to wetlands conservation and wise use:

  • Integrated management planning for securing wetland features and addressing risks of adverse change
  • Mainstreaming wetlands in development plans, programmes, and investments to reduce conservation-development trade-offs and enhance co-benefits
  • Strengthening policy and institutions for effective implementation of wetland management actions
  • Communication and outreach to promote affirmative societal behaviour for wetlands ecosystem
  • Capacity and knowledge development to bridge the science-policy-action divide


Natural wetlands in India are being lost at an alarming rate, whereas a significant proportion of existing wetlands are degrading. We estimate India has lost 2.8 Mn Ha of natural wetlands between 1980 and 2022 (21% loss).

A major emphasis of current programming and policy-making has been on the designation of wetlands as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites) under the Ramsar Convention. While India has rapidly increased the Ramsar Sites from 42 in 2020 to 80 in 2024, the selection of these wetlands is largely ad-hoc, and not linked with national or global conservation commitment and targets.

By designating a wetland as a Ramsar Site, the international commitment is to maintain the ecological character of the site and ensure wise use. The central government makes available funds for the state government through several centrally sponsored schemes, however, access to these needs an integrated management plan. The scale of coverage of integrated management plans is abysmal and does not match up with the rate of degradation.

About the Collaboration

Earlier this year, Wetlands International South Asia partnered with the Rainmatter Foundation to work on creating an enabling environment for wetlands conservation through a focused training programme and strategic knowledge base. The project aims at two primary outcomes, i.e. a) Improved health of Ramsar Sites, and b) Improved wetland management practice. To achieve this we prescribe three major interventions:

  1. Launch an online course on wetlands management on a publically accessible digital platform (targeted at different groups).
  2. Develop a prioritization map for Indian wetlands – considering different biodiversity and ecosystem services values, threats, national goals, and international commitments.
  3. Develop a decision-support system for wetlands management – this would enable the prioritization of wetlands within an administrative boundary (such as state or district) or catchment, and evaluation of wetlands features using secondary data as far as possible and generating a first sketch management plan.


For Establishing an e-learning system to support the application of integrated wetlands management, we are mapping the knowledge and capacity needs of various stakeholders. Regarding this, a draft form for the Capacity and Training Needs Assessment has been developed. Moreover, specific target groups have been identified for whom the assessment has to be done. Simultaneously, a draft structure of an E-module on preparing an Integrated Management Plan has been prepared.

Hi Everyone,

This is regarding an update on our recent progress regarding the development of the e-module for Integrated Management Planning. Firstly, we have successfully compiled a Google form designed to facilitate the mapping of competencies pertinent to the preparation of an Integrated Management Plan. Additionally, we have prepared a comprehensive list of experts specializing in Integrated Management Planning for wetlands, who will be invited to participate in the questionnaire process. Attached herewith is the link to the questionnaire form for your reference.

Google link:

In addition to this, I am pleased to share advancements in the formulation of a framework for preparing an e-module on Integrated Management Planning. We have integrated essential components into this framework to ensure clarity and coherence in our planning endeavors. To provide you with insight into this framework, a Miro board link has been included in this correspondence.

Miroboard link: Sign up | Miro | The Visual Workspace for Innovation

@RaviPrakashWISA thank you for that, can’t seem to access the form thought. Can you please take a look. Thank again

Hi Siddharth,

Please check if this link is working.

Otherwise, I am attaching a pdf file of the form for your reference.
Competency mapping for preparing Integrated Management Plans - Google Forms.pdf (315.2 KB)
Let me know if you can access it.

Best Regards,

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