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India: Rooting for RAMSAR wetlands by Priya Ranganathan February 14,2020   |  Source: Deccan Herald

On the occasion of the first World Wetland Day of the new decade, India took the initiative to add 10 more wetlands to its pocketful of RAMSAR wetland sites, taking the total number of internationally-recognised wetlands to 37 sites. Wetlands are areas where water is the primary controlling factor for the abiotic and biotic components of these ecosystems. The RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands (1971), held in the Iranian city of Ramsar, is recognised as the first modern multilateral environmental agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. The convention originally focussed on wetlands as waterbird habitat, but over the years, it has broadened its scope to address all aspects of wetland conservation and management. Over 2,220 wetlands have been sheltered under the umbrella of the RAMSAR convention. India’s move to secure more wetlands under this convention is crucial in this time of economic growth and climate change.

What are wetlands?

The RAMSAR convention defined wetlands as “areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish, or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres.” Wetland scientists

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