Kazhuveli watershed region in Tamil Nadu

News Excerpt:

Conservationists propose the Kazhuveli watershed region in Tamil Nadu for the World Monuments Fund Watch 2025 nomination.

More about the news:

  • The Eri (tank) network in the Kazhuveli watershed region in Villupuram district that comprises an incredible network of tanks created thousands of years ago is proposed for nomination to the World Monuments Fund Watch 2025 programme.
  • The area spans 740 sq. km., featuring an ancient ‘eri’ (tank) network.
  • This network has sustained agriculture for thousands of years but is currently facing decline.
  • The initiative aims to protect and preserve the region's historical and agricultural significance.
  • If the nomination comes through, pilot projects will be run in Munnur village to develop a heritage toolkit that could be replicated through the watershed and beyond.
    • The 1500 years old Adavalleswarar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located in Munnur in Kazhuveli watershed region.
      • The temple has inscriptions on the Eri system and how it was managed by the local communities. 
      • Though the tank is still intact, the heritage components have been destroyed and utilisation of the tanks has reduced. 
      • This is a classic example of how endangered the tank system is at present.

Kazhuveli Lake:

  • Kazhuveli lake is the second largest brackish water wetland in Tamil Nadu.
    • Kazhuveli, or Kaliveli, meaning ‘Passage to Backwaters’, is a brackish water wetland, which feeds into the Bay of Bengal through the narrow 8-km-long Uppukalli creek and the Yedayanthittu estuary.
  • The wetland is home to over 200 species of birds and is recognised as an important stopover and breeding ground for about 40,000 migratory birds.
  • The birds found in the Kazhuveli bird sanctuary include spot-billed pelicans, darters, cormorants, herons, egrets, storks, black ibis, spoonbill, flamingo, spot-billed duck, garganey, common pochard, sandpiper, coots, shanks, and terns.
  • In addition to the rapid growth of illegal shrimp farming in the area, the lake faces an internal threat as there are plans to convert it into a freshwater lake.


World Monuments Watch:

  • The World Monuments Watch is a nomination-based program that connects local heritage preservation to global awareness and action. 
  • Every two years, the Watch rallies support to places in need and the people who care for them, spotlighting new challenges and the communities worldwide harnessing heritage to confront the crucial issues of our time. 
  • The 2025 Watch will include 25 places, each telling an urgent local story with global relevance. 
  • Through this initiative, World Monuments Fund (WMF) partners with the people who know these places best, amplifying their efforts through advocacy, capacity building, and close collaboration with WMF’s expert team and professionals across the globe.

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