India aims to have 75 Ramsar sites on 75th anniversary of Independence


India is set to urge the Convention on Wetlands to fast-track designation of 26 wetlands in the country as Ramsar sites in addition to the existing 49 sites, officials said on Tuesday.

If the Convention on Wetlands agrees to the proposal, India could have a total of 75 Ramsar sites in the 75th year of Independence.

Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav is expected to take up the issue with Secretary General of Convention on Wetlands Martha Rojas Urrego during his upcoming visit to Geneva.

The 26 wetlands proposed to be designated as Ramsar sites comprise 13 from Tamil Nadu, four from Odisha, three from Madhya Pradesh, two from Jammu & Kashmir and one each from Maharashtra, Mizoram, Karnataka and Goa.

The sites in Tamil Nadu include bird sanctuaries in Chitrangudi, Koonthankulam, Vaduvur, Vellode, Kanjirakulam, Vedanthangal and Karikili, the wetland complexes in Suchindram Theroor and Vembannur, Pichavaram Mangrove, Pallikaranai Marsh and the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve.

The Satkosia Gorge, Tampara Lake, Hirakud Reservoir and Ansupa lake in Odisha; Sirpur wetland, Sakhya Sagar and Yashwant Sagar in Madhya Pradesh; the wetland conservation reserves in Hygam and Shallbugh in J&K; Thane creek in Maharashtra; Nanda lake in Goa; Pala wetland in Mizoram; and Ranganathituu Bird Sanctuary in Karnataka are set to get a push for designation as Ramsar sites.

Ramsar site is a wetland area designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental environmental treaty, signed in Iran in 1971, that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

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