Context: Ramsar Convention declared Punjab’s 3 wetlands (among 10 wetland sites from India) as sites of national importance.
New Ramsar sites
- Punjab (3): Keshopur-Miani, Beas Conservation Reserve, Nangal. Earlier, Punjab had three wetlands designated as Ramsar sites — Harike (notified in 1990), Ropar (2002) and Kanjli (2002).
- Maharashtra (1): Nandur Madhameshwar (This is the 1st Ramsar site of Maharashtra).
- Uttar Pradesh (6): Nawabganj, Parvati Agra, Saman, Samaspur, Sandi and SarsaiNawar. UP now has 7 Ramsar sites.
- India now has a total of 37 Ramsar sites covering an area of 1,067,939 hectares.
- Ramsar sites are those which are declared under the Ramsar Convention signed in 1971 to preserve wetlands of national importance.
- It is the convention on wetlands formed by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in February 2, 1971 and came into force in 1975. The convention is named after Ramsar city of Iran where it was signed.
- This convention is one of the oldest inter-governmental accords signed by members’ countries to preserve the ecology of the wetlands. Those wetlands which are declared as Ramsar sites are protected by the strict guidelines as per the convention.
- Through the convention it is aimed to maintain an international network of wetlands for conserving the biological diversity.
- A wetland is a distinct ecosystem flooded by water, either permanently or seasonally. Oxygen-free processes prevail in wetlands.
- They provide a wide range of resources and ecosystem services such as food, water, fibre, groundwater recharge, water purification, flood moderation, erosion control and climate regulation.
- Wetlands play a number of functions, including water purification, water storage, processing of carbon.
|The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has prepared a 4 pronged strategy to restore wetlands.|
The ministry work closely with State Wetland Authorities to ensure wise use of Ramsar sites.
Recently ministry launched ‘Nal se Jal‘ scheme in 2019 which aims to provide piped water connection to every household by 2024.