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Ramsar Sites- 10 New Indian Wetlands added to the List

New Ramsar Sites- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 3: Environment- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.

Ramsar Sites- 10 New Indian Wetlands added to the List_40.1


New Ramsar Sites in News

  • Recently, 10 more Indian wetlands were designated as wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites), as part of Ramsar Convention.
  • Few days earlier, five new Indian wetland sites were also recognised as wetlands of international importance, as part of the Ramsar Convention.
  • So far, 64 wetlands covering an area of 12,50,361 ha have been designated as Ramsar Sites of International Importance from India.



Ten New Ramsar Sites in India- Key Details

  • About: The 10 newly added Ramsar sites in India include-
    • Six in Tamil Nadu
    • One in Goa,
    • One in Odisha,
    • One in Madhya Pradesh and
    • One in Karnataka (First Ramsar Designated Wetland in the State).
  • Significance: Designation of these new Indian sites as Ramsar Sites would help in the conservation and management of wetlands and the wise use of their resources.



Name of wetland Area in Ha State
1 Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary 72.04 Tamil Nadu
2 Satkosia Gorge 98196.72 Odisha
3 Nanda Lake 42.01 Goa
4 Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve 52671.88 Tamil Nadu
5 Ranganathituu BS 517.70 Karnataka
6 Vembannur Wetland Complex 19.75 Tamil Nadu
7 Vellode Bird Sanctuary 77.19 Tamil Nadu
8 Sirpur wetland 161  Madhya Pradesh
9 Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary 40.35 Tamil Nadu
10 Udhayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary 43.77 Tamil Nadu




Criteria for Designating a Wetland as Ramsar Site


As per   Ramsar Convention, a wetland should be considered wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites) based on the following criteria:

  • Criterion 1: it contains a representative, rare, or unique example of a natural or near-natural wetland type found within the appropriate biogeographic region.
  • Criterion 2: it supports vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered species or threatened ecological communities.
  • Criterion 3: it supports populations of plant and/or animal species important for maintaining the biological diversity of a particular biogeographic region.
  • Criterion 4: it supports plant and/or animal species at a critical stage in their life cycles, or provides refuge during adverse conditions.
  • Criterion 5: it regularly supports 20,000 or more waterbirds.
  • Criterion 6: it regularly supports 1% of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of waterbird.
  • Criterion 7: it supports a significant proportion of indigenous fish subspecies, species or families, life-history stages, species interactions and/or populations that are representative of wetland benefits and/or values and thereby contributes to global biological diversity.
  • Criterion 8: it is an important source of food for fishes, spawning ground, nursery and/or migration path on which fish stocks, either within the wetland or elsewhere, depend.
  • Criterion 9: it regularly supports 1 per cent of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of wetland-dependent non-avian animal species.



What are wetlands?

  • According to WWF, a wetland is a place where the land is covered by water, either salt, fresh or somewhere in between.
  • Marshes and ponds, the edge of a lake or ocean, the delta at the mouth of a river, low-lying areas that frequently flood—all of these are wetlands.


About Ramsar convention

  • The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is the oldest of the modern global intergovernmental environmental agreements.
  • The treaty was negotiated through the 1960s by countries and non – governmental organizations concerned about the increasing loss and degradation of wetland habitat for migratory waterbirds.
  • It was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975.
  • Since then, the Convention on Wetlands has been known as the Ramsar Convention.
  • The Contracting Parties approved the Fourth Strategic Plan for 2016-2024 at COP12.
  • Ramsar Convention’s broad aims are to halt the worldwide loss of wetlands and to conserve, through wise use and management, those that remain.


5 New Indian Wetlands Recognized as Ramsar Sites

5 New Indian Wetlands Recognized as Ramsar Sites

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