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Five new Ramsar Sites in India

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    28th Jul, 2022


Recently, five more Indian wetlands have got Ramsar recognition as “wetlands of international importance”.

The new Ramsar Sites in India

  • The five new wetlands that have been added to the list are-
    • The Karikili Bird Sanctuary, Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest and Pichavaram Mangrove in Tamil Nadu, 
    • The Sakhya Sagar in Madhya Pradesh
    • Pala Wetland in Mizoram
  • India’s tally of 54 designated wetlands is the largest network of Ramsar Sites in South Asia.

Wetlands in India


The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands defines wetlands as “areas of marsh, fen, peat land or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters”.

  • Globally, wetlands cover 6.4 per cent of the geographical area of the world. 
  • In India, according to the National Wetland Inventory and Assessment compiled by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), wetlands are spread over 1,52,600 square kilometres (sq km) which is 4.63 percent of the total geographical area of the country. 
    • Of the 1,52,600 sq km, inland-natural wetlands account for 43.4% and coastal-natural wetlands 24.3%.
  • India has 19 types of wetlands. 
    • In state-wise distribution of wetlands, Gujarat is at the top with 34,700 sq km (17.56% of total geographical area of the state), or 22.7% of total wetlands areas of the country thanks to a long coastline. 
    • It is followed by Andhra Pradesh (14,500 sq km), Uttar Pradesh (12,400 sq km) and West Bengal (11,100 sq km).

Global leaders

  • The countries with the most Ramsar Sites are the United Kingdom (175) and Mexico (142), as per the Ramsar List. 
  • Bolivia has the largest area with 148,000 sq km under the Convention protection. 
  • Canada, Chad, Congo and the Russian Federation have also each designated over 100,000 sq km.

About Ramsar convention

  • The Convention on Wetlands is the oldest of the modern global intergovernmental environmental agreements.
  • The treaty was negotiated through the 1960s by countries and non – governmental organizations concerned about the increasing loss and degradation of wetland habitat for migratory waterbirds.
  • It was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975.
  • Since then, the Convention on Wetlands has been known as the Ramsar Convention.
  • The Contracting Parties approved the Fourth Strategic Plan for 2016-2024 at COP12.


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