Ramsar sites are typically wetlands with global significance. Wetlands are places where water covers the soil, is present at or near the soil’s surface all year long, or is present intermittently throughout the year.
The term “Ramsar” was created when the 1975-effective International Treaty for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands was signed in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971. Due to the Ramsar Convention’s signing on that date in 1971, February 2 is recognized as International Wetland Day.
On World Wetlands Day 2022, Shri Bhupender Yadav, the minister for environment, forests, and climate change, announced the creation of two new Ramsar sites (Wetlands of International Importance). the 49th Ramsar site will now be included in the total. Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh and Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat are the two new Ramsar sites.
The definition of a wetland according to the Wetland Conservation and Management Rules, 2017 published by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change is: “An area of Marsh, fen, peatland, or water; whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish, or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters, but down not include river channels, paddy fields, human.
Global Facts of Ramsar Sites
The Ramsar convention’s objectives were to protect wetlands and encourage the sustainable use of their natural resources. The first Ramsar site was discovered in 1974 on the Cobourg Peninsula in Australia, and there are currently about 2,400 Ramsar Sites worldwide.
The United Kingdom, with 175 sites, and Mexico, with 142 sites, are the two nations with the most Ramsar sites. Wetlands make up 6.4% of the earth’s surface on a global scale. With 148,000 sq km, Bolivia has the largest area protected under the Convention. The Russian Federation, Chad, Congo, and Canada have all each allocated more than 100,000 sq km.
Indian Ramsar Sites
The greatest network of Ramsar sites in South Asia is in India, where 49 wetlands are scattered across 10,936 sq km in 18 states and 2 union territories. The state with the most Ramsar sites is Uttar Pradesh, with 10, followed by Punjab with 6, Gujarat with 4, J&K with 3, Himachal Pradesh with 3, Kerala with 2, Haryana with 2, Odisha with 2, West Bengal with 1, and Rajasthan with 1. Other states with fewer Ramsar sites include Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Ladakh, Manipur, TN, Tripura, Uttarakhand, and MP.
India contains 19 different kinds of wetlands. The largest Ramsar site in India is the Sundarbans, which cover an area of 10,000 square kilometers. The smallest wetland in the nation is Renuka Wetland in Himachal Pradesh, which has an area of 20 hectares.
List of 49 Ramsar Sites in India
|Ramsar Sites in India||State – Location|
|Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary||Gujarat|
|Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary||Uttar Pradesh|
|Haiderpur Wetland||Uttar Pradesh|
|Sultanpur National Park||Haryana|
|Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary||Haryana|
|Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary||Gujarat|
|Beas Conservation Reserve||Punjab|
|Bhoj Wetlands||Madhya Pradesh|
|Chandra Taal||Himachal Pradesh|
|East Kolkata Wetlands||West Bengal|
|Hokera Wetland||Jammu & Kashmir|
|Keoladeo National Park||Rajasthan|
|Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve||Punjab|
|Kolleru lake||Andhra Pradesh|
|Nalsarovar Bird sanctuary||Gujarat|
|Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary||Punjab|
|Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary||Uttar Pradesh|
|Parvati Agra Bird Sanctuary||Uttar Pradesh|
|Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary||Tamil Nadu|
|Pong Dam lake||Himachal Pradesh|
|Renuka lake||Himachal Pradesh|
|Saman Bird Sanctuary||Uttar Pradesh|
|Samaspur Bird Sanctuary||Uttar Pradesh|
|Sandi Bird Sanctuary||Uttar Pradesh|
|Sarsai Nawar Jheel||Uttar Pradesh|
|Surinsar- Mansar lakes||Jammu & Kashmir|
|Upper Ganga river||Uttar Pradesh|
|Vembanad Kol Wetland||Kerala|
|Wular lake||Jammu & Kashmir|
|Sunderban Wetland||West Bengal|
|Kanwar Lake or Kabal Taal||Bihar|
|Sur Sarovar||Uttar Pradesh|
|Tso Kar Wetland Complex||Ladakh|
Interesting Facts about the Ramsar sites
- One of the most important protected areas in the world is a Ramsar site.
- There are currently around 2400 Ramsar sites around the world, totaling 2.5 million square kilometers.
- The Cobourg Peninsula in Australia was designated as the first Ramsar site in the world in 1974.
- With 175 Ramsar Sites, the UK has the most in the world.
- The Ramsar Convention was signed on February 2, 1971, hence February 2 is recognized as International Wetlands Day.
- The following organizations work with the Ramsar Convention:
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- Birdlife International.
- International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
- Wetlands International.
- Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)
- WWF International
- Check the Ramsar Sites Information Service to learn more about any Ramsar site (RSIS)
- As of October 2019, there are 171 contracting parties to the Ramsar Convention.
List of Ramsar Sites in India- UPSC Notes: Download
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