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.
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”.
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.
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 sq.km (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.