Two new Ramsar sites — Khijadiya wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat and Bakhira wildlife sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh — were announced on the occasion of World Wetlands Day at Sultanpur national park in Gurgaon.
India has a network of 49 such sites, the highest in South Asia, covering 10,93,636 hectares.
About World Wetlands Day 2022
The theme of World Wetlands Day 2022 is “Wetlands Action for People and Nature”, which highlights the importance of actions to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands for humans and planetary health.
- The United Nations recognised ‘World Wetlands Day’ is celebrated on February 2 to mark the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the same day in 1971.
Other effective area-based conservation measures (OECM) Site
- The Aravalli Biodiversity Park, located at Delhi-Gurgaon border, has been declared as India’s first other effective area-based conservation measures’ (OECM) site.
- The proposal to declare Aravalli Biodiversity Park as an OECM site was by the National Biodiversity Authority to IUCN in December 2020. The tag designates the area as a biodiversity hot spot on the global map.
About the Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary
- Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary, a freshwater wetland near the coast of the Gulf of Kutch, was formed following the creation of a bund (dike) in 1920 by the then ruler of the erstwhile princely state of Nawanagar to protect farmlands from saltwater ingress.
- The sanctuary is now part of Marine National Park, Jamnagar, the first marine national park in the country.
- The sanctuary is located at the watershed of Ruparel river and Kalindri at the North East coastal region of Jamnagar district in the Gulf of Kutch and has a very special and unique ecosystem.
- Further, as sanctuary is located near Narara Island, and has a bio-diversified coral reef.
- Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary is a coastal wetland with rich avifaunal diversity providing a safe habitat to endangered and vulnerable species.
About the Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary
- A freshwater marsh in the Sant Kabir Nagar district, is the largest natural floodplain wetland of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
- The Sanctuary was established in 1980 and is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act (1972); an “eco-sensitive zone” extends up to a kilometre around its boundary.
- This is an important lake of eastern UP, which provides a wintering and staging ground for a number of migratory waterfowls and a breeding ground for resident birds. This is also used for farming activities as it is connected to Bakhira Canal.
- The Grey-headed swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus) also called the Indian Purple moorhen or Purple Swamp-hen is one of the beautiful common water birds found in India.
- Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary provides a safe wintering and staging ground for a large number of species of the Central Asian flyway.
1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
- The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, an international treaty, aims at the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.
- Named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, the convention was signed in 1971.
- The Ramsar Convention works closely with six other organizations known as international organization partners (IOPs), namely BirdLife International, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Wetlands International, WWF International, and Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT).
Source:: IE & Wikipedia
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