News: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region is likely to get its first Ramsar site at the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary.
Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary
- The Maharashtra Government has declared the area along the western bank of Thane Creek as the “Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary” since 2015. It is Maharashtra’s second marine sanctuary after the Malvan sanctuary. It is recognized as an “Important Bird Area” by the Bombay Natural History Society.
- The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (better known as the Ramsar Convention) is an international agreement promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
- It is the only global treaty to focus on a single ecosystem.
- The convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975.
- Traditionally viewed as a wasteland or breeding ground of disease, wetlands actually provide fresh water and food and serve as nature’s shock absorber. Wetlands, critical for biodiversity, are disappearing rapidly, with recent estimates showing that 64% or more of the world’s wetlands have vanished since 1900.
- Major changes in land use for agriculture and grazing, water diversion for dams and canals, and infrastructure development are considered to be some of the main causes of loss and degradation of wetlands.
- A Ramsar Site is a wetland area designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
- It provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.