Two new Ramsar sites were announced, and a ‘National Wetland Decadal Change Atlas’ was released on the occasion of World Wetlands Day 2022 at Gurugram on February 2.
With the announcement of Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat and Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh as the latest Ramsar Site, i.e., wetlands of international importance, India now has 49 Ramsar Sites.
World Wetlands Day on February 2 marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on the same day in 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar. The theme for this year is ‘Wetlands Action for People and Nature,’ which highlights the importance of actions to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands for humans and planetary health.
All 49 Ramsar Sites together now cover 10,93,636 Ha, the highest in South Asia. Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary provides a safe wintering and staging ground for many special Central Asian Flyway. At the same time, Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary is a coastal wetland with rich avifaunal diversity providing a safe habitat to endangered and vulnerable species.
The original Wetland Atlas was released in 2011. The decadal change atlas highlights the changes in wetlands across the country. The main national-level event on the occasion of World Wetlands Day was held at the Sultanpur National Park, a Ramsar Site of Haryana, on the outskirts of Gurugram.
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal launched the decadal change atlas at the event.