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 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.


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.



Number of Ramsar site in various states of India

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 1
10Kerala 3
11Ladakh 1
12Madhya Pradesh 4
13Maharashtra 3
14Manipur 1
15Mizoram 1
16Odisha 6
17Punjab 6
18Rajasthan 2
19Tamil Nadu 14
20Tripura 1
21Uttar Pradesh 10
22Uttarakhand 1
23West Bengal 2
Total 75


List of Ramsar sites in Tamil Nadu

Sl.NoDistrictName of the Wetland
1Chengalpattu Karikili Bird Sanctuary
2Chengalpattu Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary
3Chennai Pallikaranai Marshland
4Cuddalore Pichavaram Mangrove
5Erode Vellode Bird Sanctuary
6Kanyakumari Suchindram – Theroor wetland complex
7Kanyakumari Vembannur Wetland complex
8Nagapatinam and Tiruvarur Point Calimere
9Ramanathapram Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary
10Ramanathapram Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve
11Ramanathapram Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary
12Tirunelveli Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary
13Tiruvarur Udayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary
14Tiruvarur Vaduvur Bird Sanctuary

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.