Ramsar Sites are the wetlands that have international importance. The term was coined when the International Treaty for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands was signed at a city of Iran called Ramsar in 1971. The topic, ‘Ramsar Sites of India’ is important for the upcoming IAS Exam as recently Sambhar Lake had been in the news for its deterioration over salt mining. Sambhar Lake is a Ramsar Site in India. 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.
Ramsar Sites in India – Latest Addition
In 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.
The following sites have been added as the recognized Ramsar Sites in India:
- Maharashtra – Lonar Lake
- Agra (Uttar Pradesh) – Sur Sarovar also called, Keetham Lake
- Uttarakhand – Asan Barrage
- Bihar – Kanwar Lake or Kabal Taal
|Candidates preparing for the upcoming UPSC Prelims examination are advised to go through the following links to align their preparation:
Facts about Ramsar Sites & Indian Wetlands
The table below provides relevant facts in brief for the use in 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. Read more about the Ramsar Convention for UPSC at the linked article.|
|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 42 Ramsar Sites in India [Latest]|
|Which is the largest Ramsar Site in India?||Chilika Lake 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 8 Indian Wetlands.|
|Which is the smallest wetland in India?||Renuka Wetland in Himachal Pradesh is the smallest wetland of India.|
|Current Updates Regarding Indian Ramsar Sites||
Other Interesting Facts about the Ramsar sites:
- 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.
List of Ramsar Sites in India:- Download PDF Here
List of Ramsar Sites 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 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. The 14 new Ramsar sites of India announced by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) includes:
- Sur Sarovar, Nawabganj, Parvati Agra, Saman, Samaspur, Sandi and Sarsai Nawar (Uttar Pradesh)
- Lonar Lake, Nandur Madhameshwar (Maharashtra)
- Keshopur-Miani, Beas Conservation Reserve and Nangal (Punjab)
- Asan Barrage (Uttarakhand)
- Kanwar Lake (Bihar)
The Sunderban Reserve Forest (Sunderban Wetlands) also made its entry into the list of Ramsar sites in India on 1st February 2020.
The latest site to be added to the list is a high-altitude wetland complex of two connected lakes, Startsapuk Tso and Tso Kar, in Ladakh.
India currently has 42 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites). This is the highest in South Asia.
Indian Wetlands and Ramsar Sites are important topics covered in Environment & Ecology in UPSC Syllabus. Candidates can get Environment Questions for UPSC Mains GS 3 in the linked article. This can help candidates to practice all previous years’ questions related to Biodiversity, Environment, and Ecology.
List of Ramsar sites in India [Latest]
|Ramsar Sites in India||State – Location|
|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|
List of Ramsar Sites in India:- Download PDF Here
Aspirants preparing for UPSC 2021, 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|
|UPSC Syllabus||UPSC Books|
|IUCN Red List||Natural Vegetation in India|
|Project Tiger||List of Elephant Reserves in India|
|GS 3 Structure, Strategy, and Syllabus||UPSC Admit Card|