Wetland Conservation Programme, Ramsar Convention and The Montreux Record.

Wetland Conservation Programme

  • Wetlands are lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic system where the water table is usually near the water surface and land is covered by shallow water.
  • Essential as: control floods, water treatment, recharging of water sources, reduce sediments, check soil erosion, bulwark against encroachment by the sea, winter resort for birds and important for flora and fauna. They also provide a variety of resources
  • Ramsar Convention: mangroves, corals, estuaries, bays, creeks, flood plains, sea grasses, lakes etc included
  • A programme on conservation of wetlands was initiated in 1987 with the basic objective of identification of wetlands of national importance, assessment of wetland resources, promotion of R&D activities and formulation and implementation of management action plans
  • A steering committee in each state headed by the Chief Secretary consists of members from all departments related to the wetland conservation in the state. Successful model.
  • India is a member of the Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, 1971
  • Steps forward
    • Make use of the traditional knowledge of the people living near the wetlands for its conservation along with the engineering solutions
    • Monitor the impact of implementation of management action plans
  • Wetlands of India under Ramsar Convention
Name State Remark
1.       Ashtamudi WL Kerala
2.       Bhitarkanika Mangroves Orissa
3.       Bhoj WL MP
4.       Chilka Lake Orissa 2nd largest in India: 116500 ha
5.       Deepor Beel Assam
6.       East Calcutta WL WB
7.       Harike Lake Punjab
8.       Kanjli Punjab
9.       Keoladeo National Park Rajasthan
10.   Kolleru Lake AP
11.   Loktak Lake Manipur
12.   Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary TN
13.   Pong Dam Lake HP
14.   Ropar Punjab
15.   Sambhar Lake Rajasthan
16.   Sasthamkotta Lake Kerala
17.   Tsomoriri J&K
18.   Vembanad-Kol WL Kerala Largest in India: 151250 ha
19.   Wular Lake J&K
20.   Chandratal HP 2nd Smallest: 49 ha
21.   Renuka HP Smallest: 20 ha
22.   Rudrasagar Tripura
23.   Upper Ganga UP Total area of these 26 wetlands: 677131 ha
24.   Hokarsar (Hokera) J&K Kerala has the highest area under wetlands
25.   Surinsar & Mansar J&K J&K has the largest number of wetlands (4)
26.   Gharana (2010) J&K



The Montreux Record. Sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance which are considered to have undergone, to be undergoing, or to be likely to undergo change in their ecological character brought about by human action may be placed on the Montreux Record and may benefit from the application of the Ramsar Advisory Mission and other forms of technical assistance.

  • Keoladeo national park and Loktak lake from India are included in the list

Changwon Declaration

The primary purpose of the  “Changwon Declaration on human well-being and wetlands”,adopted by Resolution X.3 of the recent meeting of the Conference of the Parties, “is to transmit key messages concerning wetland-related issues to the many stakeholders and decision-makers beyond the Ramsar community who are relevant to the conservation and wise use of wetlands, to inform their actions and decision-making”


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