World Wetland day on 7th February, 2019

2nd February, is observed as World Wetlands Day all over the world and the theme for this year’s 2019 WWD was “Wetlands & Global Climate Change”. Wetlands play a key role in mitigating global climate change but are fragile and most threatened aquatic ecosystems. Wetlands act as great carbon sinks thus reducing the impact of global greenhouse gases. Covering about 6% area of the Earth’s surface, they store 35% of global terrestrial carbon, which if released in gaseous form can cause disasters.

Acknowledging above facts, the Department of Chemical Sciences, I K Gujral Punjab Technical University, Kapurthala observed World Wetlands Day on 7th February, 2019 at its main campus where more than 120 students across various disciplines participated in the event. Two lectures were organized, where Dr. Chander Parkash of Chemical Sciences made students aware about the importance of wetlands, their functions & values whereas in second lecture Dr. Onkar Singh Barraich from Department of Zoology, Punjabi University, Patiala gave information on importance of Wetlands in Global Climate Change. He expressed that how the global climate change can bring biological changes among different species which will alter species composition of many areas around the world. An on the spot poster making competition was organized in which Ms. Gurpreet Kaur of Physical Sciences Department scored Ist position, Ms. Jyoti Garg & Ms. Swati Thakur of Chemical Sciences Department scored IInd position, and Mr. Aaqib Rehman of Civil Engineering Department score IIIrd position and got trophies. A consolation prize was given to Ms. Priyanka & Ms. Arti of Chemical Sciences. Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of I K Gujral Punjab Technical University Dr. Ajay Sharma gave away the prizes to the students. In his key note address to the students, he touched the various contemporary problems associated with environment and appealed the students to take lead in not only addressing these problems but be torch bearers and set examples for others. He emphasised that the contemporary environmental issues need interdisciplinary approach towards its solutions. He congratulated to the Department of Chemical Sciences on organising World Wetlands Day on campus and making students aware about various aspects of wetlands.

A field visit to Harike Ramsar site was also organised on 12th February, 2019 in collaboration with Punjab State Council for Science & Technology, Punjab State Department of Forests & Wildlife along with WWF-India. About 61 students and teachers of Department of Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics went to Harike where experts from WWF-India and Dr. Chander Parkash from Chemical Sciences apprised them about importance of Harike wetland. Students tried their hands on birds identification in various parts of the wetland. Dr. Parkash shared that how this wetland has been changed in last 20 years as he had been working on Harike for the last twenty years. He made them understand how the various microhabitats in the wetlands are used by various animal & plants species for their existence especially fishes, various types of birds, turtles and mammals like otters, wild boar and jackals.