What is a wetland?
According to The Ramsar Convention, “wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres.” Fish ponds, rice paddies, depollution and stabilisation ponds, and saltpans are human-made wetlands.
World Wetlands Day 2020
The theme for World Wetlands Day this year is ‘Wetlands and Biodiversity’. According to United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP), ‘the 2020 theme for World Wetlands Day is an opportunity to highlight wetland biodiversity, its status, why it matters and to promote actions to reverse its loss.’The Ramsar list identifies 37 sites in India as wetlands, with 10 of them being added recently. They cover a total of 1,067,939 hectares in the country.
Though wetlands cover only around 6 per cent of the Earth’s land surface, 40 per cent of all plant and animal species live or breed in wetlands. According to UNEP, wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests due to human activities and global heating. This World Wetlands Day, we bring you 7 wetlands in India that you should visit before they are gone.
CHANDERTAL WETLAND, Himachal Pradesh
HARIKE LAKE, Punjab
KEOLADEO GHANA NATIONAL PARK, Rajasthan
KOLLERU LAKE, Andhra Pradesh
NALSAROVAR BIRD SANCTUARY, Gujarat
TSO MORIRI LAKE, Leh-Ladakh
SASTHAMKOTTA LAKE, Kerala