Sreevidhya Rajeev/ Chennai ,Dec 22( BPNS)
The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is regarded as internationally important in the conservation of wetlands. It is otherwise termed an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of Ramsar sites or wetland sites. Established in 1971, this is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran and became valid in 1975. India signed the treaty on 1st Feb 1982.
The countries with more Ramsar sites are the United Kingdom with 175 followed by Mexico with 142.
India adds 11 more wetlands to the group of Ramsar sites to make a total of 75 sites in the country’s 75th year of Independence in order to cover an area of 13,26,677 ha. The 11 latest sites include Four sites in Tamil Nadu, Three in Odisha, Two in Jammu & Kashmir, and One each in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Among Indian states, Tamil Nadu has the maximum number of Ramsar sites with 14 numbers and Uttar Pradesh holds the second position with 10 sites. Earlier Tamil Nadu has eight sites such as Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary, Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary, Karikili Bird Sanctuary, Pallikarnai Marsh Reserve Forest, Pichavaram Mangrove, Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary, Suchindram Theroor Wetland Complex, Vadavur Bird Sanctuary. This time Tamil Nadu’s six more wetlands are declared as Ramsar sites and the newly added list consists of, Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary, located in the village of Koonthankulam in the district of Tirunelveli Tamil Nadu, which covers an area of 72 ha. This Bird sanctuary was declared as a sanctuary in 1994. It is the largest reserve for breeding residents and migratory waterbirds in South India and also considered as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) on the Central Asian Flyway.
Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve, is situated at the southeastern tip of India, which covers the area of 52,671.9 ha. The Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve is the first Marine Biosphere Reserve in South and South East Asia.
Vembannur Wetland Complex, is a human made irrigation tank placed in Kanniyakumari district. This wetland site covers an area of 19.7 ha. The Constitution of this wildlife sanctuary was proposed in year 2002 and it forms part of an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA).
Vellode Bird Sanctuary is located in the Erode District of Tamil Nadu. It covers an area of 77.2 ha, one interesting fact about this sanctuary is, it is home to many number of migratory birds coming from different countries.
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is the oldest bird sanctuary in India. It is also termed as one of the smallest sanctuary in the country and it covers an area of 40.3 ha. This was established in 1858 in the Chengalpattu district.
Udhayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary is situated in the Tiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu. It covers an area of 43.8 ha. The Site is an important staging and breeding ground for several species of waterbirds.
Wetlands destruction has increased because of a lack of knowledge about the benefits of wetlands and it also leads to certain environmental issues. In this scenario, Ramsar site recognition is marked as a notable achievement for the state of Tamil Nadu.