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Ramsar

What is the meaning of Ramsar sites?

A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, also known as "The Convention on Wetlands", an intergovernmental environmental treaty established in 1971 by UNESCO, which came into force in 1975. It provides for national action and international cooperation regarding the conservation of wetlands and wise sustainable use of their resources. Ramsar identifies wetlands of international importance, rare or unique wetland types or for their importance in conserving biological diversity, especially those providing waterfowl habitat.
As of February 2024, over 2,500 Ramsar sites around the world, protecting over 2.5 million square kilometres, and 171 national governments are participating.


Why is it called Ramsar?

It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the convention was signed in 1971


Criteria for Ramsar sites

Group A of the CriteriaSites containing representative, rare or unique wetland types
Criteria 1 A wetland should be considered internationally important if it contains a representative, rare, or unique example of a natural or near-natural wetland type found within the appropriate biogeographic region.
Group B of the CriteriaSites of international importance for conserving biological diversity
Criteria based on species and ecological communities
Criteria 2 A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered species or threatened ecological communities.
Criteria 3 A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports populations of plant and/or animal species important for maintaining the biological diversity of a particular bio geographic region.
Criteria 4 A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports plant and/or animal species at a critical stage in their life cycles, or provides refuge during adverse conditions
Specific criteria on waterbirds
Criteria 5 A wetland should be considered internationally important if it regularly supports 20,000 or more water birds
Criteria 6 A wetland should be considered internationally important if it regularly supports 1% of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of waterbird
Specific criteria based on fish
Criteria 7 A wetland should be considered internationally important if it supports a significant proportion of indigenous fish subspecies, species or families, life-history stages, species interactions and/or populations that are representative of wetland benefits and/or values and thereby contributes to global biological diversity
Criteria 8 A wetland should be considered internationally important if it is an important source of food for fishes, spawning ground, nursery and/or migration path on which fish stocks, either within the wetland or elsewhere, depend.
Specific criteria based on other taxa
Criteria 9 A wetland should be considered internationally important if it regularly supports 1% of the individuals in a population of one species or subspecies of wetland-dependent non-avian animal species.

List of Ramsar sites in Tamil Nadu

Sl.NoDistrictName of the WetlandRamsar site numberYear of DeclarationArea
1Nagapatinam and Tiruvarur Point Calimere1210200238500 ha
2Chennai Pallikaranai Marshland248120221247.54 ha
3Chengalpattu Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary2477202240.35 ha
4Chengalpattu Karikili Bird Sanctuary2480202258.44 ha
5Cuddalore Pichavaram Mangrove 248220221478.64 ha
6Erode Vellode Bird Sanctuary 2475202277.19 ha
7Kanyakumari Suchindram – Theroor wetland complex2492202294.23 ha
8Kanyakumari Vembannur Wetland complex2474202219.75 ha
9Ramanathapram Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary 24912022260.47 ha
10Ramanathapram Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve 2472202252671.88 ha
11Ramanathapram Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary2486202296.89 ha
12Tirunelveli Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary 2479202272.04 ha
13Tiruvarur Udayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary 2476202243.77 ha
14Tiruvarur Vaduvur Bird Sanctuary24932022112.64 ha
15Ariyalur Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary25372024453.7 ha
16The Nilgris Longwood Shola Reserve Forest25382024116.007 ha
ramsar sites of india 2024

RAMSAR SITES OF INDIA (as on 02.02.2024)

Sl.NoStateNumber of
Ramsar sites
1Andhra Pradesh 1
2Assam 1
3Bihar 1
4Goa 1
5Gujarat 4
6Haryana 2
7Himachal Pradesh 3
8Jammu & Kashmir 6
9Karnataka 4
10Kerala 3
11Ladakh 1
12Madhya Pradesh 4
13Maharashtra 3
14Manipur 1
15Mizoram 1
16Odisha 6
17Punjab 6
18Rajasthan 2
19Tamil Nadu 16
20Tripura 1
21Uttar Pradesh 10
22Uttarakhand 1
23West Bengal 2
Total 80

Charter on Wetlands

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the Conservation and Sustainable use of wetlands. It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971.


“Wise Use” of Wetlands

The “wise use” concept adopted by the Ramsar Convention’s contracting Parties is widely recognized as the longest established example amongst Inter Governmental processes of the implementation of ecosystem based landscape approach for the conservation and sustainable development of natural resources, including wetlands.

Wise use of wetlands is now defined by Ramsar as “the maintenance of their ecological character, achieved through the implementation of ecosystem approach, within the context of sustainable development”. In turn, “ecological character” is “the combination of ecosystem components, processes and services that characterize the wetland at any given point of time”.

Wise use and the maintenance of the ecological character of the wetlands form the guiding principles for wetland management planning under the Ramsar convention