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TN push ‘Ramsar’ tag for 13 wetlands in state

- January 7, 2022

Chennai, Jan 7 (BPNS)

The Government of Tamil Nadu is pushing for 13 wetlands to get the ‘Ramsar’ tag, a coveted international recognition for environmental conservation.

Sources in the Tamil Nadu environment ministry told BPNS that the state government has already submitted the proposal to the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

Of the 13 wetlands the state government and the Tamil Nadu Wetland Authority (TNWA) have short-listed, the Pallikaranai marshland in Chennai and the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere reserve in Ramanathapuram are in an advanced stage to get ‘Ramsar’ recognition.

It is learned that both the details of the above mentioned two wetlands are in an advanced stage to get Ramsar recognition at the ‘Ramsar’ secretariat in Switzerland and the state environment ministry has already given an undertaking to the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in New Delhi that the state would conserve the wetlands under’ Ramsar’ criteria once it gets the recognition.

Tamil Nadu Wetlands Authority in a study it had commissioned found that   43,916 wetlands are in the state and account for 6.9 percent of the total geographical area of the state while at the national level it is 4.7 percent.

The state environment department has also assured that even after the wetlands are designated as Ramsar sites it will not adversely affect the traditional rights and privileges of the local communities and department would prohibit only problematic and unsustainable development.

Tamil Nadu Wetland Authority (TNWA) has in a detailed analysis submitted to the state government and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) that the state has been witnessing regular floods due to unplanned urbanization in the past and loss of wetlands.

With the TNWA and the state ministry for environment and forests putting all efforts to get the ‘Ramsar’ tag for 13 wetlands, it will script a new change in the environment conservation of the state of Tamil Nadu.

M. Krisnhakumar, Chairman and Director, Chennai Environment  Study centre while speaking to BPNS said, “We are in the conservation of environment for several years and the present government has taken a proactive stand for the conservation of wetlands and getting Ramsar tag will add huge responsibility as it will be properly monitored by the Ramsar secretariat at Switzerland. This is a great step in the right direction taken by the Government of Tamil Nadu and if such measures are taken, the state will well be on the path of environmental conservation.”