The Assam Environment and Forest Minister recently said the state government will “simply rules” to allow water sports and tourism-related activities in ‘Deepor Beel’.
About Deepor Beel
- It is a perennial freshwater lake located 10 km south-west of Guwahati city, Assam.
- It is a permanent freshwater wetland in a former channel of the Brahmaputra River.
- It covers an area of 40.14 sq km and varies in depth from approximately 4 m to 1 m depending on the season (monsoon or dry season).
- Its basin is drained by a system of rivulets and hill streams that connect the neighbouring hills and the forests to the river Brahmaputra through an outlet called the Khanajan.
- It was recognised as a Ramsar Site in 2002 and as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) in 2004. It is the only Ramsar site in the state of Assam.
- It is a staging site on migratory flyways, and some of the largest concentrations of aquatic birds in Assam can be seen, especially in winter.
- Some globally threatened birds are supported, including the Spotbilled Pelican, Lesser and Greater Adjutant Stork, and Baer's Pochard.
- About 50 fish species and aquatic resources provide livelihood support to about 1,200 households residing in about 12 villages on the fringes of the wetland.
- The Rani and Garbhanga hills, the habitat of the Asiatic elephants in the southern side of the beel, are part of this ecosystem.
Q1) What is the Ramsar Convention?
The Ramsar Convention is the intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The Convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975. Since then, almost 90% of UN member states have become “Contracting Parties”.