Date: Thursday, 2nd February 2023; 26th Anniversary.
Sponsor: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Objective: World Wetlands Day is annually observed to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and planet.
Wetlands (including lakes, rivers, marshes, swamps, ponds, rice paddies, saltpans, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons, coral reefs, etc.) are surface areas that are saturated or flooded with water either permanently or seasonally. They host 40% of the world’s species and provide multiple ecosystem services. Wetlands are vital for ecological health and evolution. In addition to freshwater supply and food production, they provide natural solutions for storm water buffering, flood control, water clean, groundwater recharge, erosion protection, carbon sequestration, and climate regulation.
With population growth and overconsumption, however, many wetlands across the world are being lost or undergone significant degradation, resulting in negative impacts on biological diversity and peoples’ livelihoods. According to the secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, global wetlands have lost by 64-71% in the 20th century. To achieve sustainable development goals, this trend should be imperatively reversed.
The first World Wetlands Day was observed around the world on February 2, 1997.
The date was selected to commemorate the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (fully named Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat) in the city of Ramsar, Iran on 2 February 1971.
How to observe the World Wetlands Day
Learn, share, and actions!
On this day, environmental enthusiast and community protectors all come together to show their love for nature through celebration activities, which recognizes what wetlands have done for not only us humans, but all sorts of organisms in this world. Individuals, organizations, and communities are encouraged to organize a variety of events to raise and spread awareness of vital role of wetlands, including lectures, seminars, nature walks, children’s art contests, sampan races, social media campaigns, etc. Governments are encouraged to launch new wetland policies, new Ramsar Sites, and new programs at the national level. Each year a specific theme is selected to focus attention and help raise public awareness about the value of wetlands.
Annual theme in recent years:
2024 theme: “Wetlands and Human Wellbeing”.
2023 theme: “Wetland Restoration”.
2022 theme: “Wetlands Action for People & Nature”.
2021 theme: “Wetlands and Water”.
2020 theme: “Wetlands and Biodiversity”.
2019 theme: “Wetlands and Climate Change”.
2018 theme: “Wetlands for A Sustainable Urban Future”.
2017 theme: “Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction”.
Leave a Reply