Five new Indian wetlands get Ramsar recognition; find out what it means

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With a renewed emphasis on the protection and well-being of the environment, five new Indian sites have been recognised as wetlands of international importance, as part of the Ramsar Convention.

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These include three wetlands (Karikili Bird Sanctuary, Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest and Pichavaram Mangrove) in Tamil Nadu, one each in Mizoram (Pala wetland) and Madhya Pradesh (Sakhya Sagar), taking the toll to 54 Ramsar sites in the country from the previous 49.

Bhupender Yadav, the Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change took to Twitter to make the official announcement, writing, “The emphasis PM Shri @narendramodi ji has put on environmental protection and conservation has led to a marked improvement in how India treats its wetlands.”

“Delighted to inform that five more Indian wetlands have got Ramsar recognition as wetlands of international importance,” his tweet read.

Indian wetlands, wetlands in India, Ramsar sites, Indian Ramsar sites, Ramsar recognition, Ramsar Convention, Ramsar sites in India, wetlands in India, indian express news Sundarbans in West Bengal is the largest Ramsar site in India. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

What is Ramsar recognition?

To understand what this recognition means, one must first know what a Ramsar site is. It is essentially a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, which is also known as the ‘Convention on Wetlands’ —  an intergovernmental environmental treaty established by UNESCO in 1971, and named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the convention was signed that year.

Ramsar recognition is the identification of wetlands around the world, which are of international importance, especially if they provide habitat to waterfowl (about 180 species of birds). There is international interest and cooperation in the conservation of such wetlands and a judicious use of their resources.

Sundarbans in West Bengal is the largest Ramsar site in India.

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