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Suryakant Jena

The famous Satkosia Gorge in Odisha's Angul district has been designated as a Ramsar site, the third such location to be marked  as a wetland of international importance in the State.

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) Bhupender Yadav said 10 Indian wetlands have been included into the Ramsar sites, taking the total number of such sites in the country to 64. The new sites include six wetlands from Tamil Nadu and one each from Goa, Karnataka, MP and Odisha.

Satkosia gorge is known for its unique bio-diversity and rich flora and fauna species like gharials, mugger, freshwater turtles. A narrow stretch of River Mahanadi near Tikarapada, it is located within Satkosia Tiger Reserve. It is approximately 22 km in length and part of Satkosia Sanctuary that spans over an area of 795.59 sq km as notified by the State government in 1976.

What is a Ramsar site?

Designation of Ramsar sites provides for national action and international cooperation regarding the conservation of wetlands, and wise sustainable use of their resources. As of April 2022, there are 2,437 Ramsar sites all around the world. 

Odisha already has two such sites, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon  Chilika notified under the Ramsar Convention on October 1, 1981 and the mangroves in Bhitarkanika National Park designated in 2002. 

Experts believe that ‘wetland of international importance tag’ to the site has paved way for future recognition of other sites in the State including Hirakud Reservoir and Ansupa lake. According to National Wetland Inventory and Assessment, 2011, a total 6,907 hectare area from the total geographical land of the State is wetland. 

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