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Biodiversity & Environment

New Ramsar Sites

  • 16 Nov 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Meteor lake at Lonar in Buldhana district of Maharashtra and the Soor Sarovar at Agra have been declared Ramsar sites, a conservation status conferred by International Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Key Points

  • Lonar Lake
    • Location:
      • The Lonar lake, situated in the Deccan Plateau’s volcanic basalt rock, was created by the impact of a meteor 35,000 to 50,000 years ago.
      • The lake is part of Lonar Wildlife Sanctuary which falls under the unified control of the Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR).
    • It is also known as Lonar crater and is a notified National Geo-heritage Monument. Geo-heritage refers to the geological features which are inherently or culturally significant offering insight to earth’s evolution or history to earth science or that can be utilized for education.
    • It is the second Ramsar site in Maharashtra after Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary in Nashik district.
    • The water in the lake is highly saline and alkaline, containing special microorganisms like anaerobes, Cyanobacteria and phytoplankton.
  • Soor Sarovar Lake:
    • It is also known as Keetham lake situated within the Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, which was declared as a bird sanctuary in the year 1991.
    • Location:
      • This lake is situated alongside river Yamuna in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
      • The Soor Sarovar bird sanctuary covered an area of 7.97 sq km.
    • It is today home to more than 165 species of migratory and resident birds.
    • It also has a Bear Rescue centre for rescued dancing bears.
  • Benefits:
    • With Ramsar status, the sites will benefit in terms of international publicity and prestige.
    • They will get Financial aid through the convention’s grant and also access to expert advice on national and site-related problems.

Ramsar Site

  • Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty adopted in 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar, on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea.
  • It came into force for India on 1st February, 1982. Those wetlands which are of international importance are declared as Ramsar sites.
  • The Convention’s mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world.
  • The Montreux Record is a register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference. It is maintained as part of the Ramsar List.
  • At present, two wetlands of India are in Montreux Record:
    • Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) and
    • Loktak Lake (Manipur).
  • Chilika Lake (Odisha) was placed in the record but later removed from it.

Source: IE

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