Feb 10, Colombo: Sri Lanka's oldest wildlife sanctuary, Wilpattu National Park in the northwest has been declared a Ramsar Wetland.
Wilpattu is the sixth Ramsar Wetland in the country. Some 205 water bodies, both natural and manmade, have been identified within the boundary of the park as Ramsar wetlands.
Senior advisor for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands for Asia and Oceania, Dr. Lew Young had handed over the Wilpattu Ramsar Certificate to Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), H. D. Ratnayake.
Dr. Young had met with the officials responsible for protecting the country's wetlands and also given a public lecture on the importance of wetlands and how they play a role in regulating the water we consume during his visit to Sri Lanka.
Bundala was Sri Lanka's first Ramsar wetland, followed by Anawilundawa, Madu Ganga, Kumana and the Vankalai Sanctuary.
Ramsar Wetland is a name given to ecologically significant wetlands. The Ramsar Convention, to which Sri Lanka is a signatory, is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.