Lake Cluster of Pokhara Valley: a new Ramsar Site of Nepal

World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2nd February. This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2nd February, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. This year Nepal celebrated this day by declaring Lake Cluster of Pokhara Valley as the tenth Ramsar site of Nepal.

Phewa Lake of Pokhara

The Government of Nepal (GoN), Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), Department of Forests (DoF) and Pokhara Valley Lake Conservation Committee under the Chairmanship of Local Development Office (LDO), Kaski marked the World Wetlands Day 2016 with a special celebration to declare nine lakes in Kaski district under the Ramsar Convention on 2nd February, 2016 in Lakeside, Pokhara.
Pokhara valley situated around 200 km west of the Kathmandu, which is a widening of the Seti Gandaki valley. The Pokhara name itself was derived from “Pokhari” which is meant for Pond in Nepali vernacular- one of the wetland types. The valley itself is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Nepal, where natural heritages, especially lakes, mountains and “boating” are main tourist attractions. It is also known as the as the “city of the lake”. The Lake cluster of the Pokhara city has of international importance, as it supports vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered species or threatened ecological communities.
The Lake Cluster of the Pokhara Valley Ramsar Site comprises of the nine lakes, located in the two municipalities of the Kaski district, Western Development region of the Nepal. Of the nine lakes, two lakes namely Phewa and Kamalpokhari are in Pokhara sub-metropolitan city where the rest of the lakes belong to Lekhnath Municipality.
The total area of the catchment comprises of 178.5 sq km which comprises of water bodies, agriculture land, forests, settlement and other built-up area. Agriculture land dominates the land use in the catchment area followed by forests, and water bodies. Water bodies comprise nearly 3% of the total catchment area of the lake cluster.

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