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Wetlands are highly productive ecosystem and the most biologically diverse habitats on earth. In addition to this, wetlands are of critical importance for sustenance and survival of humans too, as their functionality range from climate control to flood attenuation etc. It is due to these reasons that wetlands are accredited international importance under international environmental concerns and are a relevant subject matter of serious research and analytical study. However, it happens to be a matter of grave concern that wetlands in Asia and particularly India are disappearing and almost on the verge of global non-existence. Highlighting an alarming trend, the ‘Global Wetland Outlook’ has flagged that at-least 35 % of the world’s natural habitat has been lost since 1970.
Same is the situation with the internationally significant Ramsar Sites in Northeast India, which are irrevocably degraded due to human interventions, rampant pollution and flouting of crucially sensitive environmental norms. The irretrievable damage in the form of pollution of the water body has endangered biodiversity, broken ecological chains and also affected local livelihood. The striking paradox however is that even after being backed by an international convention, a concrete national legal framework has not been shaped up to specifically deal with Ramsar sites in India. Also, the umbrella parent national and State laws, rules and regulations have not been able to address the concerns of rampant and unabated environmental pollution. This study therefore is intended to identify at the first place, the environmental threats pertaining to the Ramsar sites of Northeast India and then revolve around scrutinizing the efficacy of laws, institutions and practices in adhering to Ramsar Convention norms.
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