India has largest network of Ramsar sites in South Asia: Yadav

Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, MoS for Environment Ashwini Choubey, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal, and Haryana Forest Minister Kanwar Pal release National Wetland Decadal Change Atlas at Sultanpur National Park in Gurugram on February 2, 2022. (Photo/Twitter-@ byadavbjp)

Chandigarh: The Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav announced two new Ramsar sites: Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat and Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in U.P on the occasion of World Wetlands Day.

He said with this the country’s tally of Ramsar sites stands at 49, which is the largest in South Asia.

World Wetlands Day is observed every year on February 2nd all over the world. It is celebrated to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and planet Earth.

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.

The programme was organised at Sultanpur National Park in Gurugram on February 2, 2022.

Union Minister of State for Forest and Environment Ashwini Choubey, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal, and Haryana Forest and Education Minister Kanwar Pal were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Choubey said that crores of species too have equal right on Mother Earth

“Thousands of birds from all over the country and abroad come to the wetlands. This benefits the environment as well as the people living there,” Choubey said.  

Flora & fauna nature’s integral part: Haryana CM

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal said that along with humans, flora and fauna too are an integral part of nature.

This earth belongs to all of us, he added.

The Chief Minister said that it is very necessary to maintain balance between both earth and water as wherever there are wetlands; birds from all over the country and the world migrate to such places. 

Thousands of birds migrate from other countries and regions at Sultanpur and Bhindawas lakes in Haryana, said Manohar Lal.

Every year 50,000 birds of more than 100 species reach Sultanpur.

Similarly, 40,000  birds of more than 80 species come to Bhindawas every year.  More than 100 home species of birds are also found in Bhindawas.

He said that many tourists come here to see these migratory birds. Plans are being made for their stay. 

He also exhorted people to take a pledge to not damage nature.

“Today is not just Wetlands Day; it is a day to take a pledge that we will not damage nature.”

He also said that Haryana is the only state in the country that has been giving an annual pension of Rs 2500 to those who take care of those trees that have completed 75 years.

He also said that all the ponds of the state will be rejuvenated

Haryana Forest and Education Minister Kanwar Pal said that nature is of utmost importance in our lives, therefore it definitely has to be saved.  Many times we feel that many things are not needed but everything created by God has it’s own importance, he added.

On the occasion, “National Wetland Decadal Change Atlas” prepared by the Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad was also released highlighting the changes which have happened in Wetlands across the country in the past decade. The original Atlas was released by SAC in 2011 and has over the years been used extensively by all the State Governments also in their planning processes. (Press Release)

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