While speaking at the launch of a course on 'Appreciation Programme on Sustainable Management of Wetlands' at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Ramesh said, "It is for the first time that all wetlands in the country will be mapped. Indian Space Research Organisation will provide us with an upto date inventory of wetlands, estimated at around 7-10 million hectares, by the end of August."
"They are valuable ecological niches and the concept of sustainable development should be for future generations, including today"s generations," later he added.
He said the ministry will soon formulate a regulation on wetlands to prevent encroachment of precious biodiversity.
India has a rich variety of wetland habitats. The total area of wetlands, excluding rivers in India is 58,286,000 hectares or 18.4%, 70% of which comprises areas under paddy cultivation.
India's most important wetland areas are Chilka Lake in Orissa and Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur, which have been designated under the Convention of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention).