MADURAI: The Vembanur Wetland Complex was the first wetland declared as Ramsar site in Kanniyakumari district. The declaration attracts global financial support that aids in efficacious management of the wetland and conservation of its biodiversity in the years to come, M Ilayaraja, Kanniyakumari District Officer said on Thursday.
A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is inundated by water, either permanently or seasonally which includes the swamps, marshes, bogs and fens and floodplains.
Further, he said wetlands were also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Growing urbanisation, proliferation of polluting industries, encroachment of wetlands, real estate, development of tourism and run off of agricultural wastes have put the ecological health of the wetlands in question.
To protect and conserve these wetlands, Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and wise use of wetlands was signed on February 2, 1971. It’s named after the Iranian city of Ramsar, on the Caspian sea, where the treaty was signed. To commemorate it every year, February 2 is celebrated as World Wetland Day creating awareness regarding its protection, the DFO said.
In July 2022, the total number of Ramsar sites in India was 54, the highest amongst the South Asian nations. Six more Ramsar sites have been declared, taking Tamil Nadu to the top position along with Uttar Pradesh, adding to a total of 10 Ramsar sites in each of these states, Ilayaraja said.