New Delhi | Five more Indian wetlands have been added to the global list of wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, taking the total number of such highly-recognised waterlogged ecosystems in the country to 80, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said on Wednesday.
Of the five wetlands added to the Ramsar list, the Magadi Kere Conservation Reserve, Ankasamudra Bird Conservation Reserve and the Aghanashini Estuary are in Karnataka while the Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary and the Longwood Shola Reserve Forest are in Tamil Nadu.
The aim of the Ramsar list is to "develop and maintain an international network of wetlands, which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life, through the maintenance of their ecosystem components, processes, and benefits".
The Ramsar Convention is 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.
India ratified the convention on February 1, 1982.
Yadav said the emphasis Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put on environmental protection and conservation has led to a paradigm shift in how India treats its wetlands.
"This reflects in the Amrit Dharohar initiative envisioned by PM Modi," he said.
"Powered by 5! Met with Dr Musonda Mumba, Secretary General of the Convention on Wetlands, in Delhi today. With two days to go for #WorldWetlandsDay, India today increased its tally of Ramsar Sites from 75 to 80," Yadav said in a post on X.
The 80 Indian wetlands on the Ramsar list span more than 1.33 million hectares. Tamil Nadu has the maximum number of Ramsar sites (16), followed by Uttar Pradesh (10).
Due to a significant policy push from the Centre, the number of Ramsar sites has increased from 26 to 80 in the last 10 years, of which 38 have been added to the last three years alone.
World Wetlands Day is celebrated across the globe to commemorate the adoption of this international agreement on February 2, 1971.
The environment ministry, in collaboration with the Madhya Pradesh government, will organise a national World Wetlands Day event at Sirpur Lake in Indore, a Ramsar site designated in 2022.
Mumba is visiting India to participate in event at Sirpur.