International Day of Action for Rivers 2023 | 16 Mar 2023

Why in News?

Every year on March 14, the International Day of Action for Rivers (IDAR) is observed to promote awareness of the importance of the river systems on the planet earth.

  • This year, the 25th anniversary of the day was observed. The day was earlier known as International Day against Dams, for Rivers, Water, and Life.

What are the Key Points Related to IDAR?

  • Theme: Rights of Rivers.
    • It calls for the designation of rivers as a national treasure.
  • History:
    • The participants of the First International Meeting of People Affected by Dams held in March 1997 in Curitiba Brazil adopted the International Day of Action Against Dams and For Rivers, Water, and Life.
    • 20 countries' representatives had decided that the International Day of Action would take place on 14 March Brazil's Day of Action Against Large Dams.
  • Significance:
    • It demonstrates how crucial rivers are to sustaining human life.
      • Rivers and other freshwater environments are crucial sources of clean water for agriculture and drinking but are sadly being subjected to significant quantities of pollution and contamination by both the general people and industries.
    • The day tries to focus on the uneven access to clean water and the pollution occurring due to human activities. This is the reason behind the increase in the pollution of freshwater.

What are the Related Indian Initiatives?

  • Namami Gange Programme: It is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as a ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in June 2014 to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution and conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
    • Ganga was declared as the ‘National River’ of India in 2008.
  • Ganga Action Plan: It was the first River Action Plan that was taken up by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 1985, to improve the water quality by the interception, diversion, and treatment of domestic sewage.
    • The National River Conservation Plan is an extension to the Ganga Action Plan.
  • National River Conservation Plan (NRCP):
    • NRCP is the Centrally Sponsored Scheme implemented for abatement of pollution in identified stretches of rivers in the country, excluding those in Ganga basin, by providing financial and technical assistance to the States/Union Territories (UTs) on cost sharing basis.
  • National River Rejuvenation Mechanism:
    • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Ministry of Jal Shakti to devise an appropriate National River Rejuvenation Mechanism for effective monitoring of steps to curb pollution and for rejuvenation of all polluted river stretches across the country.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. Discuss the Namami Gange and National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) programmes and causes of mixed results from the previous schemes. What quantum leaps can help preserve the river Ganga better than incremental inputs? (2015)

Source: IRO