Two new Ramsar sites (Wetlands of International Importance) were announced by Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav on World Wetlands Day 2022. Thus increasing the total number of Ramsar sites to 49. The two new Ramsar sites are Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat and Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh.
The term was coined when the International Treaty for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands was signed at a city in Iran called Ramsar in 1971. The topic, ‘Ramsar Sites of India’ is important for the upcoming IAS Exam.
Hence, candidates should read about Ramsar Sites and the Ramsar Convention for UPSC preparation. Read on to get the relevant facts about Ramsar Sites and the list of Ramsar Sites.
Click the links below to get information on wetlands in India:
- Facts about Ramsar Sites in India for UPSC
- List of Ramsar Sites in India
- UPSC Questions on Indian Ramsar Sites
Latest Updates about Indian Ramsar Sites
- Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat and Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh were announced as Ramsar sites (Wetlands of International Importance) on the occasion of World Wetland day 2022 (2nd January 2022) held at Sultanpur National Park, a Ramsar site in Haryana.
- Haiderpur Wetland in Uttar Pradesh has been added as the 47th Ramsar Site in December 2021. It is a human-made wetland formed in 1984 and is located within the boundaries of Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Four new sites have been added to the list of Ramsar Sites in India in August 2021. These are:
- Sultanpur National Park – Gurugram, Haryana
- Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary – Jhajjar, Haryana
- Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary – Near Ahmedabad, Gujarat
- Wadhvana Wetland – Vadodara, Gujarat
- In 2020, the following sites were added to the Ramsar Sites of India List:
- December 2020 – The Tso Kar Wetland Complex was added to the list of Ramsar sites in India. This includes the high-altitude wetland complex of two connected lakes, Startsapuk Tso and Tso Kar, in Ladakh.
- November 2020 – Maharashtra – Lonar Lake
- November 2020 – Agra (Uttar Pradesh) – Sur Sarovar also called, Keetham Lake
- November 2020 – Uttarakhand – Asan Barrage
- July 2020 – Bihar – Kanwar Lake or Kabal Taal
- February 2020 – Kolkata – Sunderban Reserve Forest (Sunderban Wetlands)
- 2nd February 2021 marked the 50th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention, the day which is also celebrated as World Wetlands Day. India on this occasion established the Centre for Wetland Conservation & Management which is the first in the country. It is set up under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), at the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) in Chennai.
- Sambhar Lake had been in the news for its deterioration over salt mining. Sambhar Lake is a Ramsar Site in India.
Read about Ramsar Convention, 1971 in the linked article.
|Complement your preparation for the Environment & Ecology section of UPSC Mains GS 3 with the help of following links:|
Facts of Ramsar Sites & Indian Wetlands for UPSC
The table below provides relevant facts in brief useful for UPSC Exam:
Ramsar Sites in India & Indian Wetlands
|What are Ramsar Sites?||Any wetland site which has been listed under the Ramsar Convention that aims to conserve it and promote sustainable use of its natural resources is called a Ramsar Site.|
|What is the Ramsar Convention?||Ramsar Convention is known as the Convention of Wetlands. It was established in 1971 by UNESCO and came into force in 1975.|
|Is India a part of the Ramsar Convention?||Yes, India is a party to the Ramsar Convention. India signed under it on 1st February 1982.|
|How many Ramsar Sites are in India?||There are 49 Ramsar Sites in India [Latest]|
|Which is the largest Ramsar Site in India?||Sundarbans is the largest Ramsar Site of India|
|Which is the first Ramsar Site in India?||Chilika Lake (Orissa) and Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) were recognized as the first Ramsar Sites of India|
|Which Indian state has the most number of Ramsar Sites?||Uttar Pradesh has the most number of Ramsar Sites in India. It has 10 Indian Wetlands.|
|Which is the smallest wetland in India?||Renuka Wetland (Area – 20 ha) in Himachal Pradesh is the smallest wetland of India.|
Other Interesting Facts about the Ramsar sites that as an IAS aspirant, you must know about:
- Ramsar sites are one of the major protected areas in the world.
- There are currently over 2400 Ramsar sites in the world covering an area of 2.5 million sq. kilometres.
- World’s First Ramsar site was identified in 1974, which was the Cobourg Peninsula in Australia.
- The United Kingdom has the world’s largest number of Ramsar Sites i.e. 175.
- February 2 is celebrated as International Wetlands Day, as the Ramsar Convention was signed on February 2, 1971.
- The Ramsar Convention works with the collaboration of the following organizations:
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- Birdlife International.
- International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
- Wetlands International.
- Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)
- WWF International
- To research any of the Ramsar sites, one can check the Ramsar Sites Information Service (RSIS)
- The number of contracting parties for the Ramsar Convention as of October 2019 is 171.
Objective type questions based on the Ramsar Sites can be included in the prelims question paper for the civil services exam.
Aspirants preparing for UPSC 2022, should refer to the topics similar to the ‘Ramsar Wetlands in India List’ in the table below:
|Important Lakes in India||List of High Courts in India||Important Mountain Passes in India|
|GI Tags in India||List of National Parks in India||Major River Systems in India|
The Ramsar Convention was signed in 1971 with the aim of “conservation and wise use of wetlands with local, national and international cooperation for overall sustainable development of the world”.
The Ramsar sites are maintained in the Montreux Record to track any major ecological changes that might affect any of the wetland sites positively or in a reverse way.
The Ramsar convention entered into force in India on 1 February 1982.
India currently has 49 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites). This is the highest in South Asia.
List of Ramsar sites in India [Updated – February 2022]
|Ramsar Sites in India||State – Location|
|Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary||Gujarat|
|Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary||Uttar Pradesh|
|Haiderpur Wetland||Uttar Pradesh|
|Sultanpur National Park||Haryana|
|Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary||Haryana|
|Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary||Gujarat|
|Beas Conservation Reserve||Punjab|
|Bhoj Wetlands||Madhya Pradesh|
|Chandra Taal||Himachal Pradesh|
|East Kolkata Wetlands||West Bengal|
|Hokera Wetland||Jammu & Kashmir|
|Keoladeo National Park||Rajasthan|
|Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve||Punjab|
|Kolleru lake||Andhra Pradesh|
|Nalsarovar Bird sanctuary||Gujarat|
|Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary||Punjab|
|Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary||Uttar Pradesh|
|Parvati Agra Bird Sanctuary||Uttar Pradesh|
|Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary||Tamil Nadu|
|Pong Dam lake||Himachal Pradesh|
|Renuka lake||Himachal Pradesh|
|Saman Bird Sanctuary||Uttar Pradesh|
|Samaspur Bird Sanctuary||Uttar Pradesh|
|Sandi Bird Sanctuary||Uttar Pradesh|
|Sarsai Nawar Jheel||Uttar Pradesh|
|Surinsar- Mansar lakes||Jammu & Kashmir|
|Upper Ganga river||Uttar Pradesh|
|Vembanad Kol Wetland||Kerala|
|Wular lake||Jammu & Kashmir|
|Sunderban Wetland||West Bengal|
|Kanwar Lake or Kabal Taal||Bihar|
|Sur Sarovar||Uttar Pradesh|
|Tso Kar Wetland Complex||Ladakh|
The topic, ‘Ramsar Sites’ has a good chance to be asked in the prelims examination, and the information of the same can also be used while answering questions on environmental concerns, actions, issues etc covered in the UPSC CSE Syllabus of GS Paper-III.
UPSC aspirants must learn from the experience and preparation strategy of previous years’ IAS Toppers while preparing for the prelims exam.
|UPSC Mains Answer Writing 2022||UPSC FAQ|
|IAS Questions & Answers||UPSC Books|
|IUCN Red List||Natural Vegetation in India|
|Project Tiger||List of Elephant Reserves in India|
|Topic-Wise GS 3 Questions of UPSC Mains||NCERT Notes for UPSC|