The National Institute of Oceanography has so faridentified and mapped 35 wetlands in the state which could qualify for conservation under the provisions of the Wetland (Conservation andManagement) Rules.
The NIO was roped in by the Goa State Wetland Authorityto conduct a study on Goas water bodies.
However, the agency will take a year to complete theexercise which includes digital classification of wetlands using satelliteimage data and corresponding analysis of ground truthed data.
The wetlands are actually land areas covered by water,either temporarily\seasonally or permanently. Marsh, fen and peatland comeunder this category.
The wetlands play a key role in hydrological cycle andflood control, water supply and providing food, fibre and raw materials.
The NIO with the help of Geographic Information System isalso preparing maps of each water body falling under the CRZ and in theprotected areas (wildlife sanctuaries and national parks) for conducting asurvey
and mapping these water bodies. There will be ground truthing work as well.
The countrys space agency ISRO had in 2011 come out witha national wetlands atlas on the basis of satellite image, mapping over twolakh wetlands, including 550 wetlands in Goa, covering around 4.63 per cent ofthe total geographic area of India.
However, the state did not want to rely on this data. Hence the Goa State Wetland Authority inAugust this year roped in the NIO to identify and carry out ground truthing foraccurate identification of a wetland.
The authority was of the opinion that if actualwetlands are not identified with ground truthing within a period of threemonths then it is likely that all the identified wetlands in the atlas may bedeclared as wetlands; or any order may be given by the Nation Green Tribunal.