GANDHINAGAR: The government will propose names of 10 more wetlands, including two from Haryana, to be declared as sites of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
The two wetlands in bird sanctuaries Sultanpur and Bhindawas in Haryana have never been considered before.
The names of the wetlands will be submitted to the Ramsar Secretariat at the ongoing 13th Conference of Parties to the Convention of Migratory Species and Wild Animals (CMS COP 13) being held at Gandhinagar.
Wetlands declared as Ramsar sites are protected under strict guidelines.
If the proposal to include 10 new wetlands is approved by the Ramsar Secretariat, India will have 47 sites protected internationally.
"We are working on declaring 10 more sites as Ramsar sites and in the process are trying to bring more areas under the Ramsar site conservation plan. A combined proposal is being sent to the Ramsar Secretariat," an Environment Ministry official said.
There are over 170 countries party to the Ramsar Convention and over 2,000 designated sites covering over 20 crore hectares have been recognized under it.
"The new wetlands being proposed for inclusion are - Lonar from Maharashtra which is a unique wetland and the only crater lake in the country, a site from Bihar-Kanwar lake, two sites from Haryana which doesn't have a Ramsar site till now -Sultanpur and Bhindawas.
"Uttarakhand also has sent a proposal for its first Ramsar site-Asan and the rest are from Uttar Pradesh," said the ministry official.
The Convention, signed in 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar, is one of the oldest inter-governmental accord for preserving ecological character of wetlands.
Also known as the Convention on Wetlands, it aims to develop a global network of wetlands for the conservation of biological diversity and for sustaining human life.
In January this year, 10 wetlands in India were recognized by the Ramsar Convention as sites of international importance which are Nandur Madhameshwar in Maharashtra, Keshopur-Miani, Beas Conservation Reserve and Nangal in Punjab.
Six sites from Uttar Pradesh were declared as Ramsar sites which are Nawabganj, Parvati Agra, Saman, Samaspur, Sandi and SarsaiNawar.
The other Ramsar sites are in Rajasthan, Kerala, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.
Wetlands provide a wide range of important resources and ecosystem services such as food, water, fibre, groundwater recharge, water purification, flood moderation, erosion control and climate regulation.