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India Designates 5 New Ramsar Sites

  • Category
    Ecology and Environment
  • Published
    29th Jul, 2022

Context

India has recently designated five new wetlands of International importance.

About

  • Three wetlands, namely Karikili Bird Sanctuary, Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest & Pichavaram Mangrove of Tamil Nadu, Pala wetland of Mizoram and wetland Sakhya Sagar of Madhya Pradesh have been added to the list.
  • The Ramsar sites have been increased from 49 to 54 Ramsar sites.

About New Sites:

Karikili Bird Sanctuary: 

  • Karikili Bird Sanctuary is a 61.21-hectare protected area located in the Kancheepuram District of Tamil Nadu.
  • The sanctuary is about 75 km from Chennai, south of Chengalpattu. 

Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest: 

  • Pallikaranai wetland is a freshwater marsh located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • It is the only surviving wetland ecosystem of the city and among the few and last remaining natural wetlands of South India.

Pichavaram Mangrove:

  • Pichavaram mangrove is located in a village near Chidambaram in Cuddalore District of Tamil Nadu.
  • The mangrove is one of the largest mangrove forests in India, covering 1100 hectares.

Pala wetland:

  • The Pala wetland is the largest natural wetland in Mizoram.
  • The renowned landmark is surrounded by green woodlands and home to rich diversity of animal species including a range of animals and birds.

Sakhya Sagar:

  • Sakhya Sagar Lake is an integral part of the beautiful ecology of the Madhav National Park in Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh.

India’s Ramsar Sites:

  • India’s Ramsar wetlands are spread over 11,000 sq km — around 10% of the total wetland area in the country — across 18 States.
  • No other South Asian country has as many sites though this has much to do with India’s geographical breadth and tropical diversity.
  • The United Kingdom (175) and Mexico (142) — smaller countries than India — have the maximum Ramsar sites whereas Bolivia spans the largest area with 148,000 sq km under the Convention protection.

Ramsar Sites

  • These are wetlands deemed to be of "international importance" under the Ramsar Convention.
  • It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the convention was signed in 1971.
  • Ramsar sites are trans-boundary in which case more than one Contracting Party is responsible for their conservation and management.
  • The inclusion in the list is for-
  • the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands,
  • recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their
  • Economic value.
  • Cultural value
  • Scientific value
  • Recreational value
  • It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands.

Wetland

  • A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail. 
  • The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other landforms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil.
  • Two general categories of wetlands are recognized: 
    • Coastal or tidal wetlands
    • Inland or non-tidal wetland
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