With 10 more Ramsar site tag, India now has 37 wetlands of global importance —

Tso Moriri (Lake Moriri) or Mountain Lake is in the Changthang Plateau in Ladakh (Northern India). The lake and surrounding area are protected as the Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Tso Moriri (Lake Moriri) or Mountain Lake is in the Changthang Plateau in Ladakh (Northern India). The lake and surrounding area are protected as the Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ramsar has declared 10 more wetlands from India as sites of international importance. While Maharashtra got its first Ramsar site —Nandur Madhameshwar, Punjab which already had three added three more Keshopur-Miani, Beas Conservation Reserve, Nangal, according to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, calling it a “major recognition towards Government of India’s effort towards conservation, restoration and rejuvenation of its wetlands”.

With this, the numbers of Ramsar sites in India are now 37 and the surface area covered by these sites is now 1,067,939 hectares. Uttar Pradesh with one Ramsar site has added six more—Nawabganj, Parvati Agra, Saman, Samaspur, Sandi and SarsaiNawar.

The Ramsar Convention signed on February 2, 1971, is one of the oldest inter-governmental accord signed by members countries to preserve ecological character of their wetlands of international importance. The aim of the Ramsar list is to develop and maintain an international network of wetlands which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life through the maintenance of their ecosystem components, processes and benefits. Wetlands declared as Ramsar sites are protected under strict guidelines of the convention.

Expressing happiness, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Ramsar declaration is an acknowledgement of Government of India’s commitment in achieving the conservation and sustainable use of the important wetlands of the country.

Wetlands provide a wide range of important resources and ecosystem services such as food, water, fibre, groundwater recharge, water purification, flood moderation, erosion control and climate regulation. They are, in fact, are a major source of water and our main supply of freshwater comes from an array of wetlands which help soak rainfall and recharge groundwater. (The Tribune)

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