| June 25, 2018

Nine Pokhara lakes listed as international wetlands

Santosh Pokhrel/Republica Santosh Pokhrel/Republica
POKHARA, Feb 3: On the occasion of World Wetland Day on Tuesday, nine lakes of Pokhara including the popular Fewa lake, have been enlisted under world wetland sites. Lew Young, advisor of Wetland Secretariat of Asia Pacific Region, formally handed over the certificates to Forest Minister Agni Sapkota. Besides Fewa, Rupa, Begnas, Kamalpokhari, Khaste, Gunde, Neureni, Dipang and Maidi lakes have now received international recognition as wetland sites.

Speaking at the occasion Youg said that the lakes, as they are now international property, have higher value. "Now the lakes would get even more value. World would be concerned about them," he commented adding that conservation of the sites is now also an international responsibility. The lakes in Pokhara are mesmerizing and are equally important to perverse wildlife besides being one of the major tourist attractions in Pokhara, he added. He urged the locals to take care of the valuable property while taking benefits from it.

Spokesperson of the National Park and Wildlife Conservation Department Maheshwor Dhakal expressed hope that the lakes, which have remained ignored so far, would now receive due attention. "These lakes have been encroached by haphazard human settlements and urbanization. Now with the international attention and efforts for their conservation, they will live longer for the future generation," he said. He informed about the government's plan to prepare three-year and five-year plans for their conservation.

"The government would be coming with detail plan for these lakes' conservation. While the international community would keep alerting us for conserving, our efforts towards their conservation will be crucial," he said.

Dhakal informed that Wetland Convention came in existence in 1971. So far, 2222 wetlands of 169 countries have been enlisted as international wetland sites.

From Nepal, Koshitappu Wildlife Conservation Site was enlisted on the list in 1987. Then in 2003, Bishhazarli lake of Chitwan, Jagadishpur lake of Kapilbastu and Ghodaghodi lake of Kailali made it into the list with others following the years to follow. With the new nine lakes, Nepal now has 18 lakes enlisted as international wetland.