Thane Creek gets Ramsar status, third site in state

Published on Aug 14, 2022 12:08 AM IST

Mumbai: The Centre on Saturday accorded the Ramsar status to the Thane Creek area spread over 6522

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Mumbai: The Centre on Saturday accorded the Ramsar status to the Thane Creek area spread over 6522.5 hectares. This includes the area currently protected as the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary (TCFS) as well as the surrounding eco-sensitive zone (ESZ).

The status comes over a year after the Maharashtra forest department moved a proposal for the same, making it the third such site in the state and the first of its kind where a wetland located within an urban metropolis has received such recognition.

The Maharashtra State Mangrove Cell first proposed Thane creek as a Ramsar site on July 8, 2021. The proposal was authorised by the Maharashtra Environment and Climate

Change Department on December 9, 2021, but it wasn’t until February 12 of this year that it was formally sent to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) by the Maharashtra government.

“The value of this wetland is now recognised as contributing to global biodiversity. We are committed to safeguarding this area, administering it in accordance with international standards, and making sure biodiversity is sustained over the long term,” said Virendra Tiwari, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Mangrove Cell.

Encompassing a total area of 6522.5 hectares (ha) of which 1690.5 ha has been declared as the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary (TCFS) and 4832 ha notified as Eco Sensitive Zone around the Sanctuary, this is now the largest wetland area declared as a Ramsar site in Maharashtra.

The state now has three Ramsar sites after the 800.96 ha Nandur Madhmeshwar in Nashik district and 427 ha Lonar Lake in Buldhana district were declared Ramsar sites in January and November 2020 respectively.

A Ramsar site is a wetland area designated to be of international importance – especially for water birds – under an intergovernmental environmental treaty known as the Ramsar Convention. The treaty provides a framework for nations to conserve such wetlands while seeking international cooperation and resources where required.

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