The Center on Saturday granted Ramsar status to the Thane Creek area which covers 6521.08 hectares. Union Environment, Forestry and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav announced the decision as he accepted the request made by former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in February this year.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Shiv Sena had sent the proposal to the Center, which was prepared by the State Mangrove Cell after Thackeray’s approval.
As reported by the Free Press Journal, the MVA government has argued that once Ramsar status is granted, it will attract tourists from home and abroad for bird watching, which in its view tower, will promote the environment and tourism in addition to creating employment opportunities for the local population. Furthermore, it will convey the importance of the wetlands to the people and accelerate their protection and conservation activities in addition to putting them on the world tourist map.
“This decision will also convey the importance of wetlands to people and accelerate their protection and conservation besides putting them on the world tourism map,” Yadav said in a statement.
A Ramsar site is a wetland of international importance. The objective of Ramsar designation is “to develop and maintain an international network of wetlands that are important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life through the maintenance of their ecosystem components, processes and benefits. “.
In addition, the MVA government had stated that “”In the Thane Creek area, along with the flamingos migrating from overseas, other bird species are also found. This agreement gives particular importance to this mangrove area from a global point of view. “
“An area of approximately 65 km² of Thane Creek is proposed to be identified as a Ramsar area, of which 17 km² is the reserved forest area. The remaining area of 48 km² is notified as an environmentally sensitive area in October 2021. This will help to more easily preserve the biodiversity of this area,” said CMO.
It would also be easy to protect and conserve flamingos and other bird species in this area.
Ramsar places in Maharashtra:
Nandur Madhmeshwar Classified Forest in Nasik District was granted ‘Ramsar’ status at the International Ramsar Mangrove Conference in January 2020. It is the first Ramsar location in Maharashtra. Lonar in Buldana district is another Ramsar place declared in November 2020.
What is Ramsar status:
The first “Ramsar Conference” was held in the city of Ramsar in Iran in 1971. Several decisions regarding the conservation and preservation of the world’s mangrove areas and their complementary environmental uses were made at this conference. The action plan for this has also been prepared. According to this action plan, each participating country was invited to identify mangrove areas of global importance and to declare them “Ramsar” places. Lakes, rivers, ponds, swamps, streams, seashores and rice paddies are included in the mangrove areas.
244 “Ramsar” sites around the world:
India signed the agreement in 1982 and has taken steps to protect and conserve the mangroves. Currently, 244 mangroves around the world have been granted Ramsar status. They also include 49 such mangroves in India.
India adds 11 more wetlands to the list of Ramsar sites:
India added 11 more wetlands to the list of Ramsar sites to make a total of 75 Ramsar sites covering an area of 13,26,677 ha in the country in the 75th year of independence.
Bhupender Yadav said in a tweet, “Pm Shri @narendramodi Ji’s love and care for the environment is helping India reach new heights in conservation. Glad to let you know that 11 more Indian wetlands have obtained Ramsar recognition. This brings our tally to 75 sites.”
The 11 new sites include four sites in Tamil Nadu, three in Odisha, two in Jammu and Kashmir and one in Madhya Pradesh and one in Maharashtra. The designation of these sites would contribute to the conservation and management of wetlands and the wise use of their resources.
India is one of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention, signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971. India signed it on 1 February 1982. From 1982 to 2013, a total of 26 sites have been added to the list of Ramsar sites, however, from 2014 to 2022 the country added 49 new wetlands to the list of Ramsar sites.
In that same year (2022), a total of 28 sites were declared Ramsar sites. Based on the date of designation mentioned on the Ramsar Certificate, the number is 19 for this year (2022) and 14 for the previous year (2021).
Tamil Nadu has the maximum number of Ramsar sites (14), followed by UP which has 10 Ramsar sites.
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