The International Conference on Lakes and Wetlands, that takes place on February 14 and 15, is being organised by the Bhopal-based Environmental Planning and Coordination Organization (EPCO) along with UNDP to focus attention on how the state has managed and strengthened the Bhoj Wetland which provides the residents of Bhopal their daily drinking water.
The Upper Lake of Bhopal, arguably the oldest among the large man-made lakes in central part of India, was created in the early 11th century AD by King Bhoj by constructing an earthen dam across a tributary of Betwa River. Now the Bhoj Wetland enjoys historical, archaeolgical and ecological significance.
The conference will bring together lake experts from across the world to discuss and developing multidisciplinary solutions to multidisciplinary issues. The conference is conceived as an opportunity for expression of cross-sectoral concerns wherein experts from academia, government, international donor agencies, civil society, practitioners, public and private enterprises will share experiences on how to optimise use of and bring about sustainable management of wetland, lakes and their basins.
EPCO, the main organiser for the conference, was established by the Housing and Environment Department of the Government of Madhya Pradesh in 1981 and has grown to occupy a strategic position as a think tank for environment and climate change issues. The organisation even carries out projects on environment and was instrumental in drafting the climate change action plan for the state of Madhya Pradesh.