Nanda lake becomes Goa's first internationally recognised Ramsar site

Nanda lake becomes Goa's first internationally recognised Ramsar site

With the recent addition of the 10 new wetlands, the total number of Ramsar sites in India stands at 64.

10 new wetlands have recently been added to the list of Ramsar Sites in India, taking the totaly tally to 64 now. One of the 10 places in this list is Goa's Nanda lake.

These wetlands that have been conferred with status of international importance include six sites from Tamil Nadu, and one each in Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.

"Designation of these sites would help in conservation and management of wetlands and wise use of their resources," the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said.

What is Ramsar?

If you're wondering what Ramsar is, it is a global treaty that focusses on wetland conservation specifically. The wetlands gain international importance, once declared a Ramsar site. Basically, India is one of the contracting parties to the Ramsar Convention, which was signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971.

And Curchorem's Nanda lake was notified among the first six official wetlands for Goa in October 2021, under the government’s Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017. The other five incorporated Xeldem lake, Dashi lake in Revora, Toyyar lake in Chimbel, Cottambi lake, and Sarzora lake in Chinchinim. And on Wednesday, it gained recognition as a Ramsar site.

“Nanda lake was approved as a Ramsar site after it stood the test across nine criteria, including its services as a habitat from several species of birds,” a state official said.

Nanda lake's international status

Cacora's Nanda lake is also one of Goa's largest wetlands, with an area of 42 hectares. It is also home to a large variety of birds like the wine-tailed swallow, red-wattled lapwing, little cormorant, Lesser whistling duck, Brahminykite, Bronze-winged jacana and more.

“Nanda lake is considered to be critically significant for its ecosystem services and biodiversity values for the local communities and society at large. The majority of the area is intermittent freshwater marshes that lie adjacent to one of the major rivulets of the Zuari river. This enables the locals to store the water during the off-monsoon season,” the ministry added in the announcement.

The stored water is also used to cultivate paddy downstream of the Nanda lake during monsoons. It supports fishing and recreation.

Ecological significance

Now that Nanda lake has been declared as a Ramsar site, it is marked as globally significant for its ecological contributions.

It is extremely important to preserve the wetland, which is why any form of industry set-up, solid waste or untreated waste dumping, encroachment, poaching or other types of constructions are strictly proscribed in the area.

Nanda lake becomes Goa's first internationally recognised Ramsar site
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