Environment minister meets senior Ramsar Convention official to push for wetland recognition

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New Delhi, June 11 (IANS): To push for more wetlands to be recognized internationally, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav met with Ramsar Convention Secretary-General Martha Rojus Urrego in Geneva.

Yadav, who also holds the post of Union Minister for Labor and Employment, is in Geneva to attend the International Labor Conference (ILC).

India already has 49 Ramsar Sites, Wetlands of International Importance, and is now pushing for 26 more.

“Meeting with the Secretary-General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Ms. @martharojasu1, to discuss India’s proposed designation of Wetlands of International Importance as part of #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav.(sic),” Yadav said in a tweet after his meeting late Friday night.

“This would bring almost a tenth of India’s known wetland regime to the international network. The government is targeting 75 wetlands to receive Ramsar Days in the 75th year of India’s independence,” the minister added.

These wetlands of international importance are called Ramsar Sites in memory of the 1971 Convention on Wetlands held in the Iranian city of Ramsar.

The 26 wetlands awaiting Ramsar Day include Pala Wetland (Mizoram); Satkosia Gorge, Tampara Lake, Hirakud Reservoir and Ansupa Lake (Odisha); Sirpur Wetland, Sakhya Sagar & Yashwant Sagar (Madhya Pradesh), Thane Creek (Maharashtra); Hygam Wetland Conservation Reserve & Shallbugh Wetland Conservation Reserve (Jammu and Kashmir); Ranganathituu Bird Sanctuary (Karnataka) and Nanda Lake (Goa).

Tamil Nadu has ranked the maximum: Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary, Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary, Suchindram Theroor Wetland Complex, Udhayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary, Vaduvur Bird Sanctuary, Vellode Bird Sanctuary, Vembannur Wetland Complex, Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve, Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary, Pichavaram Mangrove , Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Karikili Bird Sanctuary & Pallikaranai Marsh.

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