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 August 2022, there are 2,453 Ramsar sites around the world, protecting 255,792,244 hectares (632,076,400 acres), and 171 national governments are participating.
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
|Group A of the Criteria||Sites 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 Criteria||Sites 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.|
|Sl.No||State||Number of |
|8||Jammu & Kashmir||6|
|Sl.No||District||Name of the Wetland|
|1||Chengalpattu||Karikili Bird Sanctuary|
|2||Chengalpattu||Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary|
|5||Erode||Vellode Bird Sanctuary|
|6||Kanyakumari||Suchindram – Theroor wetland complex|
|7||Kanyakumari||Vembannur Wetland complex|
|8||Nagapatinam and Tiruvarur||Point Calimere|
|9||Ramanathapram||Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary|
|10||Ramanathapram||Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve|
|11||Ramanathapram||Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary|
|12||Tirunelveli||Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary|
|13||Tiruvarur||Udayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary|
|14||Tiruvarur||Vaduvur Bird Sanctuary|
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.
The "nexus" between water, food and energy is one of the most fundamental relationships - and increasing challenges - for society.
Water security is a major and increasing concern in many parts of the world, including both the availability (including extreme events) and quality of water.
Global and local water cycles are strongly dependent on wetlands.
Without wetlands, the water cycle, carbon cycle and nutrient cycle would be significantly altered, mostly detrimentally. Yet policies and decisions do not sufficiently take into account these interconnections and interdependencies.
Wetlands are solutions to water security -they provide multiple ecosystem services supporting water security as well as offering many other benefits and values to the society and the economy.
Values of both coastal and inland wetland ecosystem services are typically higher than for other ecosystem types.
Wetlands provide natural infrastructure that can help meet a range of policy objectives. Beyond water availability and quality, they are invaluable in supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation, support health as well as livelihoods, local development and poverty eradication.
Maintaining and restoring wetlands in many cases also lead to cost savings when compared to manmade infrastructure solutions.
Despite their values and despite the potential policy synergies, wetlands have been, and continue to be, lost or degraded. This leads to biodiversity loss - as wetlands are some of the most bio diverse areas in the world, providing essential habitats for many species - and a loss of ecosystem services.
Wetland loss can lead to significant losses to human well-being, and have negative economic impacts on communities, countries and business, for example through exacerbating water security problems
Wetlands and water-related ecosystem services need to become an integral part of water management in order to make the transition to a resource efficient, sustainable economy.
Action at all levels and by all stakeholders is needed if the opportunities and benefits of working with water and wetlands are to be fully realized and the consequences of continuing wetland loss appreciated and acted upon.
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.