World Wetlands Day 2006 -- press releases from WWF

17/02/2006

http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/what_we_do/freshwater/news/index.cfm?uNewsID=58200

India highlights new Ramsar sites on World Wetlands Day

02 Feb 2006

New Delhi, India – India has designated six new wetlands to the Ramsar Convention on Wetland’s list of wetlands of international importance.

The wetland areas include the : Hokera Wetland and Surinsar-Mansur Lakes in the northwestern Himalayan province of Jammu & Kashmir; Chandertal Wetland and Renuka in Himachal Pradesh; Rudrasagar Lake in the northeastern state of Tripura; and Upper Ganga River in Uttar Pradesh.

The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. There are presently 150 contracting parties to the Convention, with 1,585 wetland sites, totalling 134 million hectares, designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.

The designations, announced on World Wetlands Day, bring the number of Ramsar sites in India to 25.

“The announcement could not have come at a better time,” said Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO of WWF-India.

“Wetlands everywhere have come under severe threat as a result of ongoing drainage, land reclamation, pollution and over-exploitation of their resources. Designating more wetlands as Ramsar sites augurs well for wetlands conservation in the country for the biodiversity wealth they nurture, ecological services they provide and the livelihoods they support.”

Protecting, restoring and managing representative networks of freshwater habitats is urgently required to conserve freshwater biodiversity and ensure supplies of water, food, materials and services for communities.

“Managing our wetland resources and evolving a policy framework that supports it, is the next crucial step,” added Dr Parikshit Gautam, director of WWF-India’s freshwater and wetlands programme Director.

WWF wants to see 250 million hectares of global wetlands be protected and sustainably managed by 2010.

For further information:
Anshuman Atroley, Communications Manager
WWF-India
Tel: +91-11- 4150 4797
E-mail: aatroley@wwfindia.net

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,342

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