Whats is a Wetland?
Definition of wetland: Wetlands are the areas where water covers the soil, or water is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time during the year, including during the growing season.
Examples of wetlands: Marshes, wet meadows, swamps, floodplains of rivers, areas along the margins of lakes and ponds, mangrove swamps etc.
What are Ramsar Wetlands?
An international convention was held in 1971 at Ramsar (Iran) for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. This convention resulted in an international treaty which is now known as the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat. Recognizing the importance of wetlands, a list of all important wetland sites has been created under the treaty. These sites are called the Ramsar Wetlands.
Important Points to Remember about Ramsar Wetlands
- Ramsar Convention is not affiliated to the United Nations.
- Treaty under Ramsar Convention is not a legally binding one.
- World Wetland Day is celebrated on 02 February every year as the treaty was originally signed on this day in the year 1971.
- Currently, there are over 2300 Ramsar Sites in the World.
List of Ramsar Wetlands Sites in India
Facts about Indian Ramsar Sites
- India became a party to the Ramsar Convention in 1981
- 37 Ramsar Wetlands sites are located in India.
- Chilika Lake & Keoladeo National Park are the first two wetlands sites that were allotted the status of Ramsar Sites in India.
- Vembanad-Kol Wetland is the largest Indian wetland.
- Renuka Wetland is the smallest Indian wetland.
- Loktak Lake and Keoladeo National Park are also included in the Montreux Record.
- Harike Lake is a man-made wetland formed on the river Sutlej
What is the Montreux Record?
Montreux Record is a register of wetland sites on Ramsar List where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference. In toto, there are 48 International sites are listed in Montreux Record.