Nepal announces Ramsar sites at anniversary commemoration
Posted to the Forum by Gandhiv Kafle, 24 September 2007
from eKantipur on-line magazine, Kantipur Publications, Kathmandu
4 wetlands declared Ramsar sites
BY PRAGATI SHAHI
KATHMANDU, Sept 24 - For the first time in the country, four high altitude wetlands of the country have been listed as Ramsar sites of the Ramsar Convention, an international convention of wetlands. Now there are eight Ramsar sites in the country. The other four wetlands are located in the tarai.
This development coincides with the first anniversary of the Ghunsa tragedy, which took the lives of 24 noted conservationists of the country.
In his written statement sent to mark the anniversary, Mr Anada Tiega, secretary general of Ramsar Convention Secretariat said the listing is an outstanding and tangible contribution to the conservation and sustainable use of high altitude wetlands of the world.
The four new high altitude wetlands included in the Ramsar sites are Gokyo of Sagarmatha National Park, Shey-Phoksundo of Dolpa, Rara Lake of Mugu, and Gosaikunda of Rauswa.
In the message, Tiega has appreciated Nepal's contribution to conservation work. Further, the declaration of high altitude wetlands will help foster national and regional strategies to tackle climate change impacts on glacial wetlands ecosystem, the statement read.
Anil Manandhar, country representative of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), said the declaration of four new Ramsar Sites on the anniversary of the Ghunsa chopper crash is a great honor for the late heroes.
"It is also the country's great achievement in the field of conservation," he added.
However, Manandhar said the addition of more Ramsar Sites in the country needs more dedication from conservationists. "Conservation of wetlands is the most challenging work we are facing," he added.
Earlier, on the occasion of World Wetland Day on February 2, Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation had proposed that seven wetlands be listed as heritage or Ramsar sites.
Of the seven, four were listed as new Ramsar sites on Sunday. The other three, which failed to be listed are Panch Pokhari of Sindupalchowk, Singjema of Kanchanjunga Conservation Area, and Kyangjing of Langtang.
Jhamak Karki, senior ecologist and a member of the Ramsar Sites Proposing Committee of DNPWC, said the government, along with its concerned partners, should seriously work for wetland preservation.
"Wetland are the most productive ecosystems," he said. The inclusion of more wetlands as Ramsar sites adds to the international importance of the country, Karki added.
According to Karki, the government will work to include more wetlands of the country as Ramsar sites in future.
The Ramsar Convention was first signed in the Iranian City of Ramsar in 1971. Nepal ratified this convention in December 1975. The four wetlands, which are already included in the Ramsar sites are Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Ghodaghodi Taal in Kailali, Bishajari Taal in Chitwan and Jagdishpur Reservoir in Kapilvastu.
Posted on: 2007-09-23 21:00:56 (Server Time)