The Ramsar Convention has added five more Indian sites to its list of wetlands of international significance. There are 54 Ramsar sites nationwide, with three in Tamil Nadu, one in Mizoram, and one each in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram.
The locations include Sakhya Sagar in Madhya Pradesh, Pala wetland in Mizoram, Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest & Pichavaram Mangrove in Tamil Nadu, and Karikili Bird Sanctuary.
According to Bhupender Yadav, Minister for Environment, Forests & Climate Change, ‘the emphasis PM Narendra Modi Ji has put on environmental protection and conservation has led to a marked improvement in how India treats its wetlands,’ adding that India now has 54 Ramsar sites, up from 49 previously.
WHAT IS RAMSAR RECOGNITION?
Through the preservation of their ecosystem’s elements, functions, and advantages, wetlands that are significant for the preservation of the world’s biological diversity and for maintaining human existence are to be developed and maintained as part of the Ramsar recognition programme.
The recognition is part of the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. It is named after the Iranian city of Ramsar, on the Caspian Sea, where the treaty was signed on February 2, 1971.
WHICH SITES HAVE RECEIVED RAMSAR ACKNOWLEDGMENT?
The following five wetlands have just been identified as being of worldwide significance:
KARIKILI BIRD SANCTUARY: Located in Kanchipuram district, nearly 86 kilometers away from Chennai, this bird sanctuary is spread over a five-kilometer-wide belt and is home to cormorants, egrets, grey heron, open-billed stork, darter, spoonbill, white lbnis, night herons, grebes, grey pelican among others.
FOREST OF PALLIKARANAI MARSH RESERVE: The marsh drains in a 250 square kilometre area that includes 65 wetlands, making it one of Chennai City’s last remaining natural wetlands. The Pallikaranai Marsh is one of the few natural coastal aquatic environments in India that meets the criteria for a wetland, according to the Tamil Nadu State Wetland Authority.
PICHAVARAM MANGROVE: Situated in Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore District, Pichavaram Mangrove is one of the last remaining mangrove forests in the nation. It is close to Chidambaram. It has an island in a wide body of water that is covered in mangrove swamps.
SAKHYA SAGAR: In the Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh, Sakhya Sagar, which was formed from the Manier river in 1918, is situated close to Madhav National Park.
PALA WETLAND: Palak Dil or Pala Tipo, which means swallowing lake in Mara, is a wetland that is home to a variety of animals, birds, and reptiles. It is situated close to Phura village in the Saiha district of Mizoram. The Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot is said to encompass Mizoram’s geographic position, making it a rich source of plant and animal species. The lake is a significant part of the Palak Wildlife Sanctuary because it sustains the sanctuary’s significant biodiversity.