Kathmandu: Nepal has designated the Lake Cluster of Pokhara Valley as a Wetland of International Importance. The Site comprises nine lakes of noted beauty along the Pokhara Valley in the mid-hill region of Nepal.
Nine Kaski district based lakes including Fewa, Rupa , Begnas, Khaste, Kamalpokhari, Guide, Neureli, Dipang, and Maidital have been collectively included in the Ramsar list .
Each lake supports significant biodiversity, provides important ecosystem services and sustains local livelihoods.
According to Ramsar organization , the Site hosts a wide variety of globally threatened migratory birds such as the critically endangered Baer’s pochard (Aythya baeri) and Indian vulture (Gyps indicus), and mammals such as the vulnerable clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) and the endangered Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata).
Pokhara is among the areas with the highest rainfall in Nepal, and the Valley and the lakes play an important role in the hydrological cycle of the region by recharging groundwater, controlling floods and trapping sediment.
Thousands of people depend on the lakes for income from tourism, fishing, irrigation, electricity generation and water supply: an economic valuation has shown that Phewa Lake provides goods and services worth more than USD 279,000 per year; and the Rupa Lake Restoration and Fishery Cooperative, organized by over 600 households, and earns more than USD 56,000 per year from fishing.
Representatives from the Secretariat of Ramsar based in Geneva provided an official certificate amidst a programme in Pokhara to commemorate the World Ramsar Dayon February 2, 2016.
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Gokya Lake of Solukhumbu, Gosaikunda of Rasuwa, Jagdishpur of Kapilvastu, Rara of Mugu, Ghodaghodi of Kailali, ,Maipokhari of Ilam and Bishajari Lake of Chitwan have been already included in the Ramsar list.
“Wetlands for our Future: Sustainable Livelihoods” is the theme for World Wetlands Day in 2016. This theme is selected to demonstrate the vital role of wetlands for the future of humanity and specifically their relevance towards achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals.
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2 February. This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
Since 1997, the Ramsar Secretariat provides outreach materials to help raise public awareness about the importance and value of wetlands.A total of 2,225 wetlands of 169 countries have been included in the Ramsar list to date.
Feb. 2, 2016