Recently, Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar has announced that the Ramsar Convention has declared 10 more wetlands from India as sites of “international importance”. 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.
- In the past six months, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has prepared a four pronged strategy for the restoration of wetlands which includes preparing a baseline data, wetland health cards, enlisting wetland mitras and preparing targeted Integrated Management Plans.
- Currently there are 27 Ramsar sites are in India and they are in Rajasthan, Kerala, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Tripura.
- The newly added sites are as follows:-
- Maharashtra: Nandur (state’s first).
- Punjab: Keshopur-Miani, Beas Conservation Reserve and Nangal.
- Uttar Pradesh: Nawabganj, Parvati Agra, Saman, Samaspur, Sandi and Sarsai Nawar.
- It was signed in 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar and is one of the oldest inter-governmental accord for preserving the ecological character of wetlands which is also known as the Convention on Wetlands.
- Its aim 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.