World Wetland Day 2019

Wetlands provide a good range of significant ecosystems and needless to say, these are the primary source of freshwater supply to Indian cities.

· 3 min read
World Wetland Day 2019
Photo by Sara Cottle / Unsplash

World Wetland Day 2019 - Background Context

World Wetlands Day is commemorated on February 2 annually every year to mark the Day the Convention on Wetlands was embraced within the famous Iranian city of Ramsar in the year 1971.

The mosquitoes were horrible!

Mitchell Park / Brookfield, WI
Photo by Dave Hoefler / Unsplash

India may be a party to the Convention since 1982 and committed to the Ramsar approach of wise use of wetlands.

In fact, the subject matter for 2020 is ‘Wetlands and Biodiversity.

The Good and Bad News – Wetlands in India

Bad News: India’s cities, unfortunately, lost 25 ha (i.e. 61.7 acres) of wetland for each one sq. km’s increase of built-up area (commercial as well as residential) within the last 40 years i.e. four decades.

Good News: Ten wetlands sites within India are listed under the Ramsar Convention, giving those sites the status of “National Importance”.
Photo by Nick Fewings / Unsplash

Facts of Wetlands in India

India has staggering 757,000 wetlands with a combined area of these wetlands around 15.3 million ha (i.e. 37807123.364 acres – 3.7 crore acres), responsible for nearly 4.7% of the total geographic area of India.

A digital photograph of a Red-Winged Blackbird perching on a plant in the Florida marsh (While this photograph is available for free, donations are appreciated. You can send donations my way through PayPal:
Photo by Ashley Inguanta / Unsplash

From the context of Ramsar sites, there are 37 Ramsar sites in India, total area coverage of 1.07 ha (2644027.582 acres – 26.44 lakhs acres). The new addition to these sites are ...

  • Wetland Name: Bird Sanctuary Nandur Madhmeshwar
  • Area: 800 ha (i.e.1977 acres)
  • Location: Taluka-Niphad, District-Nashik, Maharashtra

  • Wetland Name: Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve
  • Area: 343.9 ha (i.e. 850 acres)
  • Location: District-Gurdaspur, Punjab

  • Wetland Name: Beas Conservation Reserve
  • Area: 185 km stretch along the Beas river
  • Location: District-Amritsar, Punjab

  • Wetland Name: Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Area: 116 ha (i.e. 287 acres)
  • Location: District-Ropar (Rupnagar), Punjab

Six wetland sites were added from Uttar Pradesh

  • Wetland Name: Shahid Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary
  • Area: 225 ha (555.9 acres)
  • Location: District Unnao, Uttar Pradesh

  • Wetland Name: Parvati Agra Bird Sanctuary
  • Area: 1084.47 ha (2680 acres)
  • Location: Gonda City, Uttar Pradesh

  • Wetland Name: Saman Bird Sanctuary
  • Area: 5 (1235.5 acres)
  • Location: District-Manipuri, Uttar Pradesh

  • Wetland Name: Samspur Bird Sanctuary
  • Area: 780 ha (1927.4 acres)
  • Location: District-Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh

  • Wetland Name: Sandi Bird Sanctuary
  • Area: 309 ha (763.5 acres)
  • Location: District-Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh

  • Wetland Name: Sarsai Nawar Wetland
  • Area: Not available
  • Location: District-Etawah, Uttar Pradesh

Importance of Wetlands:

Wetlands provide a good range of significant ecosystem services, such as ...

  • Food and water
  • Possibility of livelihood
  • Provision of water purification and the source of freshwater
  • Control of soil erosion and flood moderation
  • A serious source of groundwater
  • Gorgeous landscape
  • Microclimate regulations

Needless to say, these are the primary source of fresh water supply to Indian cities.


Rapid urbanization has notably declined the quantity of area under wetlands.

According to an evaluation made by Wetlands International South Asia (WISA), between 1970 and 2014, cities have instantaneously disgraced and abused wetlands, to the range of 25 ha per sq. km with respect to the built-up area.

The biggest abusers of these wetlands were the metropolitans of following cities who see wetlands as urban dumping grounds.

  • Bengaluru
  • Chennai
  • Delhi
  • Hyderabad
  • Mumbai