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