Write on the importance of Loktak Lake in the economy of Manipur and w...

  Nov 22, 2016

Write on the importance of Loktak Lake in the economy of Manipur and why it is in news lately.

Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India, and is famous for the phumdis (heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil, and organic matter at various stages of decomposition) floating over it. Keibul Lamjao is the only floating national park in the world. It is located near Moirang in Manipur state, India.
The Keibul Lamjao National Park is the last natural refuge of the endangered sangai (state animal).
This ancient lake plays an important role in the economy of Manipur. It serves as a source of water for hydropowergeneration, irrigation and drinking water supply. The lake is also a source of livelihood for the rural fishermen who live in the surrounding areas and on phumdis, also known as “phumshongs”. Human activity has led to severe pressure on the lake ecosystem. 55 rural and urban hamlets around the lake have a population of about 100,000 people. Considering the ecological status and its biodiversity values, the lake was initially designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990. Later, it was also listed under the Montreux Record, “a record of Ramsar sites where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur”.
In November 2016, The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has constituted a four-member team for conservation and management of Loktak Lake in Manipur. It will enumerate the steps required to be initiated for declaring Loktak Lake as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.