Eight months after the Kerala government announced its formation, the State Wetland Authority, Kerala (SWAK) was officially launched on Friday for management and conservation of water bodies in the state, following the Centre’s directive to set up state nodal agencies on the lines of the Central Wetlands Regulatory Authority.
Environment Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan will chair SWAK which will be responsible for protection of the state’s lakes, estuaries, lagoons, mangroves and swamps as well as maintain the ecological sustainability of over 1,300 wetlands including the Sasthamkotta, Ashtamudi and Vembanad lakes termed internationally important by the Ramsar Convention.
More central grants for wetland conservation too can be availed by the state government through SWAK which will prepare policies, action-plans, educate and spread awareness among citizens about wetland conservation.
Convened by the Environment Principal Secretary, the 11-member authority comprises principal secretaries of water resources, local self-government, science and technology departments along with experts in limnology, hydrology, ecology and bio-diversity.
Non-official members would hold office for three years.