Lake and wetland conservation is South Asia was strengthened this month with the creation of the Living Lakes Subnetwork in the region, a Living Lakes Biodiversity & Climate Project activity that aims to promote knowledge exchange and cooperation between organisations.
The Living Lake South Asia Subnetwork was launched on the 4th of March 2023 in the Bangladesh Sundarban. Global Nature Fund (GNF) – Germany, Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS)- Bangladesh, EMACE Foundation – Sri Lanka, Nagenahiru Foundation (Sri Lanka), The Centre for Research on New International Economic Order (CReNIEO) – India, and Nature Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS) – India formed this subnetwork which is committed to protecting and conserving lakes and wetlands.
The organizations met in Bangladesh being part of an International Symposium held jointly by Khulna University, GNF and BEDS. It was followed by a field trip to the Coastal Sundarban area. During the field trip, these 6 organizations held a discussion and came together to form the Living Lakes South Asia Subnetwork to strengthen and catalyse responsible and sustainable Lake management across South Asia. Comprised of conservation groups and research organizations, this subnetwork has the essential blocks that will provide a multisectoral and ecosystem-based approach to lake conservation. There are already regional networks of Living Lakes in Europe, the UK and Ireland, Latin America and East Africa.
Ajanta Dey from NEWS was elected as the Chair of the LLSA Subnetwork with Sajeeva Emmanuel from Nagenahiru Foundation elected as the Co-Chair of the subnetwork. The Living Lakes Biodiversity and Climate Project (LLBCP) is being implemented in Deepor Beel in India, Bolgoda Lake and Lake Madampe in Sri Lanka by NEWS, EMACE Foundation and Nagenahiru Foundation respectively. The Subnetwork plans to convene every 3 months to go over the progress made by each organization, exchange knowledge and ideas, and support each organization to prevent the disappearence of precious waterbodies, the species they harbour and the wealth of ecosystem services they provide.