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Pakistan Wetlands GIS

Pakistan possesses a great variety of wetlands distributed throughout the country whose number exceeds over 200 identified wetlands or wetland complexes. The information about these resources is patchy and has not been compiled and updated systematically except documentation of only 48 wetlands in the Asian Directory of Wetlands in 1989.

In order to fill the information gap, GIS-based Pakistan Wetlands Inventory (PWGIS) is developed under Pakistan Wetlands Programme (PWP). The spatial framework of PWGIS follows Asian Wetlands Inventory guidelines. FAO’s Land Cover Classification System (LCCS) is adopted to harmonize the legend at all the scales. A Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) is developed at National Council for Conservation of Wildlife (NCCW) that has deployed PWGIS to use, maintain, improve and distribute it among other conservation organizations.

Wetlands types of Pakistan

In total, 220 Wetlands are categorized as Significant Wetlands by the programme which include 46 Protected Wetlands (1,479,794 ha); further designated as, 7 National Parks (128,563 ha), 25 Wildlife Sanctuaries (1,213,784 ha), 10 Game Reserves (137,447 ha); which also include 15 Ramsar Sites. There are 4 Ramsar Sites (60,646 ha) which don not have any other protected status. The total 19 Ramsar sites cover an area of 1,343,550 ha.






Qamer F.M., Ashraf M.S., Hussain N., Saleem R., Ali H., Mirza H., Akram ., Raza S.M.    (2009): Pakistan Wetlands GIS – a multi-scale national wetlands inventory,  33rd International Symposium on  Remote Sensing of Environment, May 4-8, 2009, Stresa, Italy.
Paper & Presentation:

 Distribution of Significant Wetlands of Pakistan








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