Alappuzha: Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has inked a memorandum of understanding with Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) for integrated conservation and management of Vembanad Lake. The Antrix will fund the three-year project which is part of continuing conservation efforts by local people and fishers under CSR. National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) of ISRO will give technical support through its geoportal Bhuvan.
ATREE senior fellow Dr Priyadarsanan Dharma Rajan said it would address water pollution, lake reclamation, invasive species, unsustainable resource use and climate change. "It will help create a comprehensive and integrated ecosystem and bring in sustainability in conservation and resource management," he said. Vembanad wetland is a designated Ramsar site used for rice cultivation, plantation crops, housing, tourist resorts, and industries. The indiscriminate human intervention threatens the lake's ecosystem.
The new initiative will strengthen efforts of Community Environmental Resource Centre (CERC) in capacity building in governance and wise use of wetland biodiversity. It also plans to build multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder partnerships at the local level, influence decision making, increase coordination between stakeholders and strengthen their capacity. ATREE was established in 1996 to help curtail the rapid loss of India’s biological resources and natural ecosystems. They signed the MoU at a function at its headquarters the other day.