List of Ramsar Sites in India

Any wetland site which is listed under the Ramsar Convention is called as a Ramsar site. There are a total of 46 Ramsar Sites now in India with the addition of 4 new ones recently. Read the article to know more about it.
Created On: Aug 18, 2021 11:10 IST
Modified On: Aug 18, 2021 15:50 IST
Ramsar sites in India
Ramsar sites in India

Recently 4 new wetland sites have been added to the list of Ramsar Wetlands by the convention. These are situated in Haryana and Gujarat in India.  The two from Haryana are Bhindawas WildLife Sanctuary and Sultanpur National Park. The other two are from Gujarat namely  Thol Lake Wild Life Sanctuary and Wadhvana Wetland.

In January 2020, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India announced the addition of country's 10 more wetlands in the list of Ramsar sites. 

With this addition, the Indian State of Maharashtra got its first Ramsar site, Punjab got 3 more Ramsar sites and Uttar Pradesh got 6 more Ramsar sites. 

In October 2020, two more Indian wetlands-- Kabartal Wetland (Bihar) and Asan Conservation Reserve (Uttarakhand)-- were added to the list of Ramsar sites. 

In November 2020, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar announced the addition of two more wetlands of India to the list of Ramsar sites. With this announcement, Lonar lake in Maharashtra and Sur Sarovar, also known as Keetham lake, in Agra were added to the list. 

In December 2020, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar announced the addition of one more wetland of India to the list of Ramsar sites. With this announcement, Tso Kar Wetland in Ladakh was added to the list. 

What is known as a Ramsar site?

Any wetland site which is listed under the Ramsar Convention that intends to preserve it and advance sustainable utilization of its natural resources is known as a Ramsar Site.

On 2 February 1971, the International Treaty for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands was signed at a city of Iran called Ramsar, hence the name Ramsar Sites.

Ramsar Convention

1- Ramsar Convention or the Convention of Wetlands was established in 1971 and came into force in the year 1975, upon receipt by UNESCO.

2- There are 171 contracting parties to the Ramsar Convention.

3- India signed the Ramsar Convention on 1 February 1982. 

Timeline of Ramsar Convention:

1962: MAR Conference called for an International Treaty for Wetlands which was held from 12-16 November 1962. 

1963-1970: Text was negotiated. 

1971: Ramsar Conference was held (2-3 February 1971) where 18 nations agreed to Convention on Wetlands of International importance. The treaty was signed on 3 February 1971.

1974: On 8 May 1974, the Cobourg Peninsula in Australia was declared the first Ramsar site in the world.

1975: Ramsar convention came into force on 1 December 1975.

1980: First meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP1) was held in Cagliari, Italy from 24-29 November 1980. The Convention had 28 member states.

1984: By COP2 was held in Groningen, the Netherlands from 7-12 May 1984. The Convention had 35 Contracting Parties.

1986: Paris Protocol came into effect on 1 October 1986, establishing a procedure for amending the Convention and the adoption of official versions of the treaty in Arabic, French, English, German, Russian and Spanish languages. 

1987: COP3 was held in Regina, Canada from 27 May - June 5, 1987, 44 Parties joined the Convention.

1988: Ramsar Bureau was established with Mr Dan Navid (USA) as the first Secretary-General on 1 January 1988.

1990: 56 out of 59 Contracting Parties took part in COP4 held in Montreux, Switzerland from 26 June- 4 July 1990.

1993: COP5 was held in Kushiro, Japan from 9-16 June 1993. The Convention had 77 Contracting Parties. 

1994: Regina Amendments entered into force after being ratified by two-thirds of the Contracting Parties on 1 May 1994.

1995: Delmar Blasco (Argentina) became the Convention's second Secretary-General on 26 August 1995.

1996: COP6 was held in Brisbane, Australia from 19-27 March 1996. 93 countries joined the Convention.

1997: The first World Wetlands Day was celebrated on 2 February 1997 in 50 nations, becoming an annual event. 

1999: COP7 was held in San José, Costa Rica from 10-18 May 1999, the Convention had 114 member states.

1999: Honduras designated the Sistema de Humedales de la Zona Sur de Honduras, the Convention's 1000th Ramsar Site.

2001: On 1 August 2001, First Transboundary Ramsar Site was agreed by Hungary (the Baradla Cave System) and Slovakia (Domica).

2002: COP8 was held in Valencia, Spain from 18-26 November 2002. The Convention had 133 Contracting Parties. 

2003: Peter Bridgewater (Australia) became the Convention's third Secretary-General on 1 August 2003. 

2005: COP9 which was held in Kampala, Uganda from 8-15 November 2005. 146 countries joined the Convention.

2007: Anada Tiéga (Niger) became the Convention's fourth Secretary-General on 1 August 2007.

2008: Gambia and Senegal agreed on the collaborative management of the Convention's 10th Transboundary Ramsar Site, called "Niumi-Saloum" on 1 October 2008. It is the first transboundary Ramsar Site outside of Europe.

In addition to this, COP10 was held in Changwon, the Republic of Korea from 28 October - 4 November 2008. The Convention had 158 Contracting Parties.

2010: The Convention's official YouTube channel was launched on 1 March 2010. 

2011: The Convention celebrated its 40 years of activities from 1 February- 1 December 2011. The 15th edition of World Wetlands Day is celebrated with the theme of "Forests for water and wetlands". 

In addition to this, Ramsar joined Facebook on 20 August 2011. 

2012: The Convention's List of Wetlands of International Importance surpassed 2,000 Ramsar Sites worldwide. 

Also, COP11 was held in Bucharest, Romania from 6-3 July 2012. The Convention had 160 contracting parties. 

2013: Christopher Briggs (United Kingdom) became the Convention's fifth Secretary-General on 20 August 2013. 

Also, Ramsar Chair for the "Wise Use of Wetlands" was established with UNESCO-IHE on 19 October 2013.  

2015: COP12 was held in Punta del Este, Uruguay from 1-9 June 2015. The Convention had 168 Contracting Parties.

2016: Martha Rojas Urrego commenced her tenure as the sixth Secretary-General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on 22 August 2016. Her appointment was announced on 16 June 2016 during the 52nd meeting of the Standing Committee.

2018: The Convention's first report, Global Wetland Outlook was published on 22 September 2018. 

Also, COP13 was held in Dubai, UAE from 21-29 October 2018. 

In addition to the above, 18 cities received Wetland City accreditation on 25 October 2018. The accredited cities are as follows: 

1. Changde, China

2. Changshu, China

3. Dongying, China

4. Haerbin, China

5. Haikou, China

6. Yinchuan, China

7. Amiens, France

8. Courteranges, France

9. Pont Audemer, France

10. Saint-Omer, France

11. Lakes by Tata, Hungary

12. Changnyeong, Republic of Korea

13 . Inje, Republic of Korea

14. Jeju, Republic of Korea

15. Suncheon, Republic of Korea

16. Mitsinjo, Madagascar

17. Colombo, Sri Lanka

18. Ghar el Melh, Tunisia 

List of Ramsar sites in India

Ramsar Sites of India Location
Asan Conservation Reserve Uttarakhand
Ashtamudi Wetland  Kerala
Beas Conservation Reserve Punjab
Bhitarkanika Mangroves Odisha
Bhoj Wetlands Madhya Pradesh
Chandra Taal Himachal Pradesh
Chilika Lake Odisha
Deepor Beel Assam
East Kolkata Wetlands West Bengal
Harike Wetlands Punjab
Hokera Wetland Jammu and Kashmir
Kabartal Wetland Bihar
Kanjli Wetland Punjab
Keoladeo Ghana National Park Rajasthan
Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve Punjab
Kolleru Lake Andhra Pradesh
Loktak Lake Manipur
Lonar Lake Maharashtra
Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary Gujarat
Nandur Madhameshwar Maharashtra
Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary Punjab
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
Parvati Agra Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
Pong Dam Lake Himachal Pradesh
Renuka Lake Himachal Pradesh
Ropar Wetland Punjab
Rudrasagar Lake Tripura
Saman Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
Samaspur Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
Sambhar Lake Rajasthan
Sandi Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
Sarsai Nawar Jheel Uttar Pradesh
Sasthamkotta Lake Kerala
Sunderbans Wetland West Bengal
Surinsar- Mansar Lakes Jammu and Kashmir
Sur Sarovar  Uttar Pradesh
Tsomoriri Jammu and Kashmir
Tso Kar Ladakh
Upper Ganga River Uttar Pradesh
Vembanad Kol Wetland Kerala
Wular Lake

Jammu and Kashmir

Bhindawas WildLife Sanctuary 

Haryana

Sultanpur National Park

Haryana

Thol lake wild life sanctuary

Gujarat

Wadhvana Wetland.

Gujarat

 

Do you know?

1- There are 42 Ramsar sites in India with a surface area of 1,081,438 hectares (as of December 2020).

2- Chilika Lake is the largest Ramsar Site of India with a surface area of 1,16,500 hectares.

3- Chilika Lake (Orissa) and Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) were recognized as the first Ramsar Sites of India.

4- Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of Ramsar Sites in India with 8 Indian Wetlands.

5- Renuka Wetland in Himachal Pradesh is the smallest wetland of India a surface area of 20 hectares. 

Interesting facts about Ramsar sites:

1- The Ramsar sites are one of the major protected areas in the world. 

2- There are 2,414 Ramsar sites in the world, covering 254,543,971.597 hectares area.

3- In 1974, the world's first Ramsar site was identified (Cobourg Peninsula; Australia). 

4- With 175 Ramsar sites, the United Kingdom has the largest number of such sites in the world. 

5- February 2 is celebrated as the International Wetlands Day. 

6- These sites are maintained in Montreux Record to track any major ecological changes that might affect any of the wetland sites positively or negatively.

Wetlands

As per the Ramsar Convention, Wetlands are 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. For example, marine and coastal areas; Estuaries; Lakes and rivers; Marshes and peatlands; Groundwater and human-made wetlands such as rice paddies, shrimp ponds, and reservoirs. 

Source: Ramsar.org

GK Quiz on Ramsar Wetland Convention 1971 and related updates

FAQ

Which is the smallest Ramsar Site in India?

Renuka Wetland in Himachal Pradesh is the smallest wetland of India a surface area of 20 hectares.

Which is the largest Ramsar Site in India?

Chilika Lake is the largest Ramsar Site of India with a surface area of 1,16,500 hectares.

Which Indian state has the highest number of Ramsar Sites in India?

Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of Ramsar Sites in India with 8 Indian Wetlands.

How many Ramsar Sites are there in India?

There are 42 Ramsar Sites in India, with Tso Kar of Ladakh as the latest addition to the list.
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    • Muneer Ahmad MirSep 9, 2021
      There are 46 Ramsar sites in India with the inclusion of four new Ramsar sites, two in Gujarat and two in Harayana.
    • The Golden CampJul 17, 2021
      Thank you very much for this informative post.
    • chaithanya veeragandhamJun 9, 2021
      sunderban is the largest wetland
    • GouravApr 22, 2021
      Tsomoriri lake is situated in ladakh