India and China now have the most number of wetlands of international importance with 10 more Indian sites entering the Ramsar list, taking the total to 64, the Union Environment Ministry said on Wednesday.
The Ramsar list aims at "developing and maintaining an international network of wetlands, which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life, through the maintenance of their ecosystem components, processes and benefits".
The 10 new sites- six in Tamil Nadu and one each in Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha- cover an area of 12,50,361 hectares in the country.
"Designation of these sites would help in conservation and management of wetlands and wise use of their resources. Now, India stands at first position jointly with China," the ministry said in a statement.
The new Indian wetlands which have bagged the coveted tag are Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary, Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve, Vembannur Wetland Complex, Vellode Bird Sanctuary, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary and Udhayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu; Satkosia Gorge in Odisha; Nanda Lake in Goa; Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary in Karnataka and Sirpur Wetland in Madhya Pradesh.
India is aiming at getting a Ramsar tag for 75 of its wetlands on the 75th year of Independence, according to officials.
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