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India proposes to designate 26 wetlands under Ramsar

New Delhi: India has proposed 26 more wetlands to be designated under the Ramsar Convention- an intergovernmental global treaty to preserve the ecological character of selected wetlands across the globe.
Once accepted, the total number of such wetlands in India will be 75 this year, in which the country will complete 75 years of Independence.
So far, 49 wetlands from India are designated as sites of global importance under the Convention, signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971.
The proposed new sites include Thane Creek from Maharashtra, Nanda Lake from Goa, 12 wetlands from Tamil Nadu, four from Odisha, and three from Madhya Pradesh, among others.
"We have sent our proposals for 26 new sites to the Ramsar Convention secretariat. We have been pushing for it as the identified sites fulfill all required criteria," said a senior environment ministry official.
Member countries under the Convention identify the site which can be of significant value for their eco-service and rich biodiversity.
The wetlands- land areas covered by water, either seasonally or permanently - play a key role in flood control and as sources of water, food, fiber, and raw materials. Besides, such land areas also support mangroves that protect coastlines and filter pollutants.
India's space agency Isro has mapped the country's wetlands, covering 15.98 million hectares which are around 4.86% of the total geographic area of the country. A total of 2,31195 wetlands (area>=2.25 ha) have been mapped at a 1:50,000 scale from 2017 to 2018.
Any kind of encroachment, setting up of industry, expansion of existing industries, solid waste dumping, discharge of untreated wastes and effluents, poaching, and any construction of a permanent nature are among the activities which are prohibited within the wetlands.

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