Date : 2nd February
Wetlands are the small ecosystems of plant life and organisms found within water bodies that bring about ecological health in abundance. Water is the primary factor controlling the environment and the associated plant and animal life. These water-related ecosystems are called wetlands. Wetlands include freshwater, marine, and coastal ecosystems such as all lakes and rivers, underground aquifers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands, peatlands, oases, estuaries, deltas, tidal flats, mangroves, other coastal areas, coral reefs, and all human-made sites such as fishponds, rice paddies, reservoirs, and saltpans.
World Wetlands Day is an environmentally related international celebration. This day is celebrated each year on 2 February to raise awareness about wetlands. It also marks the anniversary of the "Convention on Wetlands of International Importance." This convention was adopted as an international treaty in 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The Convention on Wetlands was adopted by 172 countries. Each country of the Convention must designate at least one wetland to be included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance. According to the convention, countries can designate protected areas, implement effective policies, share knowledge, and take measures to protect their wetlands.
On August 30, 2021, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2 February as World Wetlands Day from Resolution 75/317. This day aims to raise awareness of the urgency of reversing the accelerating loss of wetlands and promote their conservation and restoration. World Wetlands Day awareness campaign is organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands.
These lands are crucial to people and nature due to giving the intrinsic value of these ecosystems and their benefits. Also, they contribute to sustainable development and human wellbeing. Wetlands cover only around 6 percent of the Earth’s land surface. But 40 percent of all plant and animal species live or breed in wetlands. Wetlands provide essential ecosystem services such as water regulation, flood control, and water purification. Further, they contribute to biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaptation, freshwater availability, and world economies.
However, we are losing wetlands three times faster than forests due to current negative trends in global biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Direct and indirect drivers such as rapid human population growth, unsustainable production and consumption, technological development, and climate change's adverse impacts affect the loss of wetlands. Therefore, we need to raise national and global awareness about the rapid loss of wetlands and encourage actions to conserve and restore them.
Category : Environment