The World Wetland Day is celebrated on February 2 every year. This day is the date when the “Wetlands Convention” was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar on February 2, 1971. The theme for World Wetland 2021 is ” Wetlands and Water”. It was first celebrated in 1997.
♦ Wetlands are ecosystems that are seasonally or permanently filled with water. These include mangroves, swamps, rivers, lakes, deltas, floodplains and flooded forests, rice fields, coral reefs, marine areas with a depth of no more than 6 meters at low tide, and constructed wetlands such as wastewater treatment ponds and reservoirs.
♦ Although they cover only about 6% of the earth’s land surface, 40% of all animal and plant species live or reproduce in wetlands.
♦ Wetlands are an important part of our natural environment. They alleviate floods, protect coastlines and enhance community resilience, reduce the impact of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality.
♦ Wetlands are vital to humans and life on earth. More than 1 billion people depend on them for their livelihoods, and 40% of the world’s species live and reproduce in wetlands.
♦ Wetlands are an important source of food, raw materials, pharmaceutical genetic resources and hydroelectric power. 30% of terrestrial carbon is stored in peatlands. They play an important role in transportation, tourism, and the cultural and spiritual well-being of the people. Many wetlands are natural beauty, and many are important to indigenous people.
♦ According to the IPBES (Intergovernmental Scientific Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), wetlands are the most threatened ecosystem.
♦ Due to human activities and global warming, the rate of disappearance of wetlands is three times that of forests.
♦ According to UNESCO, the threat to wetlands will adversely affect 40% of the animals and plants that live or reproduce in wetlands.
♦ Major threats: agriculture, development, pollution and climate change.
IPBES is an independent intergovernmental organization that aims to strengthen the scientific-policy interaction mechanism of biodiversity and ecosystem services in order to protect and sustainably use biodiversity for long-term human well-being and sustainable development. It was established in Panama City, USA in April 2012. It is not a UN agency.