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‘2 More Wetlands in India added to list of ‘Recognised Sites’ under Ramsar Convention’

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    24th Nov, 2020

India has 41 wetlands, the highest in South Asia, with two more (the Lonar lake in Maharashtra and Sur Sarovar, also known as Keetham lake, in Agra) added to the list of recognised sites of international importance under the treaty of Ramsar Convention. 

Context

India has 41 wetlands, the highest in South Asia, with two more (the Lonar lake in Maharashtra and Sur Sarovar, also known as Keetham lake, in Agra) added to the list of recognised sites of international importance under the treaty of Ramsar Convention. 

About

What is Ramsar Convention?

  • The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat is a treaty for conservation and sustainable use of such sites.
  • It is named after Ramsar, the Iranian city where the treaty was signed in 1971, and places chosen for conservation under it are given the tag 'Ramsar site'.
  • Also known as the Convention on Wetlands, it aims to develop a global network of wetlands for conservation of biological diversity and for sustaining human life.
  • Over 170 countries are party to the Ramsar Convention and over 2,000 designated sites covering over 20 crore hectares have been recognised under it.

Lonar Lake

  • Located in Buldhana district, 500 km away from Mumbai, the lake was formed after a meteorite hit the Earth around 50,000 years ago.
  • The world’s only high velocity impact lake formed in basaltic rock is said to  be identified by a British officer CJE Alexander in 1823.

Sur Sarovar

  • Sur Sarovar, also known as Keetham Lake, is a human-made reservoir; originally created to supply water to the city of Agra in summer, the wetland soon became an important and rich ecosystem. 
  • The poet Surdas is said to have been inspired to write one of India's most famous devotional poems, the Bhakti Kavya, by this place.

List of recognised sites in India

  • The Asan Conservation Reserve in Dehradun, the first wetland from Uttarakhand to be recognised by Ramsar convention, was added to the list in October this year.
  • The other 38 Ramsar sites in India include Chilika Lake in Odisha, Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan, Harike Lake in Punjab, Loktak Lake in Manipur and Wular Lake in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • In January this year, 10 wetlands in India were recognised by the Ramsar Convention as sites of international importance.
  • These are Nandur Madhameshwar in Maharashtra, Keshopur-Miani, Beas Conservation Reserve and Nangal in Punjab, and Nawabganj, Parvati Agra, Saman, Samaspur, Sandi and SarsaiNawar in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The other Ramsar sites are in Rajasthan, Kerala, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.

Why to conserve wetland?

  • 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, a major source of water and our main supply of freshwater comes from an array of wetlands which help soak rainfall and recharge groundwater.
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