Source: Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India

Guidelines for integrated management action plan for wetlands, mangroves and corals

Wetlands, mangroves and corals are dynamic systems open to influence from natural and human factors. In order to maintain their biodiversity and productivity and to allow wise use of their resources, an overall agreed in regard to various sectors involved for their management. The management planning process provides this overall agreement.

The main components of the management action plan are briefly mentioned as under :

a.Description of the site

This is a basic description of the site, using available information from all the sources as far as possible.This information should include :

  • Location, area and altitude.
  • Geology and climatic features
  • Landuse pattern in the catchment including vegetation, human settlements, agriculture, major and minor industries, etc.
  • Sources of inflow and outflow of water in quantitatively terms.
  • Flora including distribution of macrophytes, plankton, etc.
  • Fauna including details of major animal groups like birds, fishes, reptiles, mammals. Details regarding invertebrate fauna should also be included.
  • Population/families directly dependent on wetland resources.
  • Cultural and indigenous practices of wetland resource utilization.
  • Existing conservation measures taken
  • Research needs
  • References


This should include main threats to the wetlands, mangroves and coral reefs. Some of the problems confronting wetlands, mangroves in India are :

  • Encroachments
  • Denudation of catchment area leading to siltation
  • Prolific growth of obnoxious aquatic weeds
  • Conversion of wetland areas for aquaculture, agriculture, human settlements etc.
  • Decrease in biological diversity particularly endemic and endangered species.
  • Deterioration of water quality
  • Decrease in resident and migratory bird population, fish and other faunal diversity.
  • Mining.

c.Management objectives

(i)Short-term objectives

Short-term objectives refer to the immediate problems confronting the wetlands, mangroves and corals which could be taken up on priority basis for conservation.

(ii)Long-term objectives

This should include long-term objectives of the project for conservation of wetland, mangrove and corals. The objectives should be defined taking into consideration all the factors responsible for degradation of the wetland/mangrove area.

d. Strategies for achieving the objectives

(1) Management action plan
Strategies for (i) short-term objectives and (ii) long-term objectives should lead to the for
mulation of integrated management action plan. Action plan should bring out a detailed work plan for a period of five years for implementation of management action plan to achieve the conservation objectives. A tentative list of actions required for wetlands, mangroves and corals are briefly given as under for illustrative purposes.

i.Protection measures

  • Survey and demarcation
  • Removal of encroachments
  • Fencing
  • Trenching

ii.Watershed management

  • Vegetative contour bunding
  • Gully control
  • Periphery bunding
  • Stream bank erosion control
  • Afforestation in the catchment area
  • Raising of nurseries
  • Propagation of plant material
  • Water harvesting structures

iii. Restoration measures

  • Maintenance of biological diversity
  • Rehabilitation of endangered and endemic speciels
  • Fisheries development
  • Enhancing bird diversity
  • Nursery and plantation

iv. Hydrological measures

  • Maintenance and appropriate action for conservation of hydrological features of the area

v. Pollution control measures

vi. Socio-economic development through community participation

vii. Monitoring and evaluation

  • Parameters for monitoring to be identified and frequency of observations to be stated with justification.
  • Patrolling and surveillance
  • Setting up of watchtowers and patrolling by motor boats.

viii. Public awareness and education

  • Organising training programmes
  • Publication of brochure/posters

ix. Legislative and administrative measures

Proforma for monitoring of management action plan in wetlands identified by national wetland committee

1. Name of the wetland
2. Location

a. District/Nearest village
b. State/UT

3. Altitude/Latitude
4. Area total
5. Area under State Government
6. Area under private ownership (with brief details)
7. Department/agency which is a nodal point for conservation of wetlands with full address including officer incharge and second in command.
8. Occupation of local people living in and around the wetland area with brief

a) details about their socio-economic states
b) whether people living in the adjoining are involved in the management activities. If yes, at what level panchayat/block/tehsil/district etc.
c) if some incentives are given to local people in term of social forestry programme/community level alternate energy Programme/agriculture/ pisciculture

9. Date of identification of wetland for conservation and management by National Wetland Committee

a. whether long term management action plan as been made.
b. Short term plan/yearly plans have been made
c. Whether inventory of endangered species, vulnerable species, dominant species has been made.

10. Physical

  • Brief outline of activities undertaken
  • Main thrust area
  • Objectives achieved
  • Issues which need immediate attention
  • Loopholes in implementing MAP
  • Cooperation of other concerned departments
  • Whether any MAP has been prepared indicating different activities undertaken right from the inception for the project till date.
  • Comparative chart of all activities, head-wise, item-wise.

11. Financial

  • Total outlay plan-wise from Seventh Plan and Eighth Plan
  • Projections for Ninth Plan
  • Amount released year-wise/plan-wise
  • Expenditure incurred on various activities under different heads
  • How much area has been conserved and what further needs to be done
  • Whether State Government wants to include or delete more activities under proposed guidelines with sufficient reasons
  • State Government's role in preventing poaching/encroachment/illegal felling/taking away of rare/medicinal plants/ fishing/agriculture
  • Any other information for effective implementation of management action plan
  • Whether projects have been accepted on the following topics in the given list of research priority areas for conservation of wetlands

Illustrative list of activities under "conservation of wetlands"

1. Survey and demarcation
2. Natural regeneration
3. Protective measures

  • Fencing
  • Trenching
  • Setting up of watch towers
  • Patrolling by motor boats.

4. Removal of encroachments
5. Raising of nurseries
6. Afforestation (percentage survival to be indicated)

7. Weed control

  • Physical
  • Chemical
  • Biological

8. Soil conservation measures

  • Vegetation contour bunding
  • Gully control
  • Water harvesting structures
  • Periphery bunding
  • Stream bank erosion control
  • Afforestation in catchment area
  • Raising of nurseries and propagation of plant material
  • Afforestation and its maintenance in wetland areas

9. Wildlife conservation

  • Fisheries development
  • Avifauna conservation

10. Eutrophication abatement

  • Monitoring of water quality
  • Control of pollution

11. Resource utilisation

  • Apiculture
  • Mariculture
  • Horticulture
  • Agriculture

12. Environmental awareness