4 Jan 2024

Wetland City Accreditation under Ramsar Convention likely for Indore, Bhopal and Udaipur

New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has submitted three nominations from India for Wetland City Accreditation (WCA) of Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) & Udaipur (Rajasthan) under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. 

These are the first three Indian cities for which nominations have been submitted for WCA based on the proposals received from respective State Wetlands Authorities in collaboration with the Municipal Corporations. 

The wetlands situated in and around these cities provide a plethora of benefits to its citizens in terms of flood regulation, livelihood opportunities, and recreational and cultural values. Sirpur Wetland (Ramsar site in Indore), Yashwant Sagar (Ramsar site closer to Indore), Bhoj Wetland (Ramsar Site in Bhopal), and several Wetlands (Lakes) in and around Udaipur are lifelines to these cities.

The three nominated cities include Indore, Bhopal and Udaipur.


Founded by Holkars, Indore is the cleanest city in India. Sirpur Lake, a Ramsar Site in the city, has been recognised as an important site for water bird congregation and is being developed as a Bird Sanctuary. A strong network of more than 200 wetland mitras is engaged in bird conservation and sensitising local community to protect Sarus Crane.


One of the cleanest cities in India that has proposed conservation zones around the wetlands in its draft City Development Plan 2031. Bhoj Wetland, Ramsar Site is the city’s lifeline, equipped with the world-class wetlands interpretation centre, Jal Tarang. Additionally, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation has a dedicated Lake Conservation Cell.  A network of more than 300 wetland mitras is engaged in wetland management and conservation of Sarus Crane.


Located in Rajasthan, the city is surrounded by five major wetlands, namely, Pichola, Fateh Sagar, Rang Sagar, Swaroop Sagar, and Doodh Talai. These wetlands are an integral part of the city’s culture and identity, help maintain the city’s microclimate, and provide a buffer from extreme events.

Wetland City Accreditation 

Recognizing the importance of wetlands in urban and peri-urban environments and to take appropriate measures to conserve and protect these wetlands, the Ramsar Convention during COP-12 held in the year 2015 approved a voluntary Wetland City Accreditation system.The Wetland City Accreditation scheme aims to further promote the conservation and wise use of urban and peri-urban wetlands, as well as sustainable socio-economic benefits for local populations.  

As cities grow and demand for land increases, the tendency is to encroach on wetlands, which are often viewed as wasteland. But urban wetlands are prize land not wasteland and therefore they should be integrated into the development and management plans of cities, say experts.

The ongoing Amrit Dharohar initiative of the MoEF&CC announced as part of this year’s budget also aims to achieve similar goals by promoting unique conservation values of Ramsar Sites.

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