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EKW case study

East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW): A community led nature-based solution to combat climate change

5 July 2024, 8:04 UTC

Since the 1880s, the East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW) have been a locally adopted nature-based solution (NBS), positively impacting the lives of millions residing in and around Kolkata. Nature-based solutions refer to the sustainable management and use of natural processes to tackle socio-environmental issues. 

The wetland complex constitutes approximately 260 sewage-fed fishponds, salt marshes and settling ponds. On a daily basis, they naturally recycle 910 million litres of the city’s untreated sewage by providing a basin for aerobic treatment of wastewater (a biological process that uses oxygen to break down organic contaminants and other pollutants like nitrogen and phosphorous). Additionally, Sewage fed fisheries (SFF) gradually improve the water quality. The wetlands also play a crucial role in moderating the impacts of floods, droughts, heatwaves, and they sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This model demonstrates a long-term practical application of a nature-based solution, mitigating the need for expensive artificial wastewater treatment while ensuring food security and livelihood opportunities for local communities.

EKW is recognised as the world’s largest natural resource recovery ecosystem by Ramsar Secretariat, is included in the list of ‘Wetlands of International Importance’ and declared as a Ramsar site in 2002. Considering the wetlands’ ecological and socio-economic value and its crucial role in recharging groundwater, regulating hydrological flow, and treating wastewater, the West Bengal Government passed the East Kolkata Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Act of 2006. The Act underlines the constitution and responsibilities of the East Kolkata Wetlands Management Authority (EKWMA) for effective conservation and management of the EKW.

Read more in the following case study to learn about East Kolkata Wetlands and its function as a natural climate solution.


Under2 Coalition_East Kolkata Wetlands Case Study.pdf

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Date added: 05/07/24