Vembanad Lake, a Ramsar site, is located in southwest India, in the state of Kerala. It is the longest lake in India and a coastal lagoon, with a length of 96 km and a surface area of 1512 km2. It is spread across the three districts of Ernakulam, Kottayam, and Alappuzha and expands into several types of waterways, including wetland systems and rivers.

Vembanad lake has important cultural, economic and ecosystem value. The increased tourism in the area has added pressure to the already vulnerable lake. It has undergone adverse effects from agricultural runoff, anthropogenic waste, heavy resource extraction and reclamation of agricultural land that has reduced the size of the lake.


Vembanad Lake provides sustenance for highly populated communities living around it. Community livelihoods derive from fishing, agriculture, tourism and industrial commodities from the lake. Tourism is a large source of income for locals. Travellers from all over the world come to float down the lake’s backwaters. Fishing and lime shell industries have come up around the lake.

Read more on socio-ecological system on the Vembanad CERC website.