10 more wetland sites from India have been given a Ramsar tag owing to India’s efforts towards conservation, restoration and rejuvenation of its wetlands. A Ramsar tag means that the wetlands will be identified as sites of international importance. Ramsar Convention, signed on February 2, 1971, is one of the oldest inter-governmental accord signed by member countries to preserve the ecological character of their wetlands of international importance.
The aim of the Ramsar list is to develop and maintain an international network of wetlands which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life through the maintenance of their ecosystem components, processes, and benefits. Wetlands declared as Ramsar sites are protected under strict guidelines of the convention.
The new sites included in the list consists of six wetlands from Uttar Pradesh, 3 from Punjab, and 1 from Maharashtra. The numbers of Ramsar sites in India are now 37 and the surface area covered by these sites is now 1,067,939 hectares. Maharashtra gets its first Ramsar site (Nandur Madhameshwar). Punjab which already had 3 Ramsar sites, adds 3 more to the list (Keshopur-Miani, Beas Conservation Reserve, Nangal), and UP with 1 Ramsar site has added 6 more (Nawabganj, Parvati Agra, Saman, Samaspur, Sandi and Sarsai Nawar).
Wetlands provide a wide range of important resources and ecosystem services such as food, water, fibre, groundwater recharge, water purification, flood moderation, erosion control, and climate regulation. They are, in fact, are a major source of water and our main supply of freshwater comes from an array of wetlands which help soak rainfall and recharge groundwater.