Four  more  Ramsar  Sites  have  submitted  papers

By our Environment  Correspondent

Kochi,  Oct  18  (IVC)    The  State  Wetland  Authority   has  cleared   the  draft  proposal  for nominating  four  more   wetlands   as  Ramsar  Sites  of  international importance  from Kerala ,  Official  Sources  said.  They  are  Vellayani and the Akkulamveli from Thiruvananthapuram District, kottooli  (Kozhikode)  and the  Kattampally-Valapattanam-Kuppam  (Kannur)  wetland  and vying  for the Ramsar  Site  tag, the  sources  added.

                The  secretary  of the  State  Wetland  Authorrity, Kerala  (SWAK)  Suneel  Pamidi said that  the technical  Committee  of  SWAK   on Oct 16  cleared   the  proposal    for  nominating  these  wetlands  as  Ramsar  sites  of  international  importance .   The  proposals would  be placed  before  the SWAK  and later  submitted to  the  Union  Ministry  of  Environment , Forest  and Climate  Change.  

                Out  of  a  total  75  Ramsar  Sites  in India,  three  are  from Kerala.  They are  : Vembanad,  Ashtamudi and  Sasthamcotta lakes,  Pamidi said. 

                The  Convention   on  Wetlands of  International  Importance , especially as  Waterfowl  Habitat  was held at  Ramsar (Iran)  in 1971.  India  is one of  the signatories  to the convention.

The  Ramsar  Secretariat  will decide on assigning  the  tag  considering  the  ecological importance  of  the  sites.  Once  the secretariat  approves the  nomination,  the  wetlands would   be added  to the  List  of  Wetlands of international  importance.

                Once designated  ,  a  management  plan  for  the  sites  needs  to  be  developed  and implemented.   The  plan outline conservation objectives, sustainable use,  practices and  measures to  safeguard  the  wetland’s  ecological  integrity.   

                The  ecological  health  of  the  wetland  and  the effectiveness  of  conservation  efforts  shall  be  monitored  to  maintain the  Ramsar  site’s  status and  fulfill the  obligations  under  the  Ramsar Convention. The  Ramsar  tag  adds  top  priority for  the  conservation of  a  wetland besides attracting  external funds  for  its  management . The  designation often  attracts tourists ,  who  are  interested  in  experiencing the  unique biodiversity and natural beauty  of  wetlands.

                The  responsible tourism activities can be   conducted  at  the  sites,  which  would  benefit  local communities besides   generating  funds  for  conservation ,  according  to  the  authority  sources.   The designation also raises public awareness  about  the  importance  of  wetlands  besides  encouraging the  education  and  research activities

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