2 February: World Wetlands Day

World Wetlands Day was celebrated on February 2nd with the theme of “Wetlands and Climate Change”. The theme signifies the importance of healthy and intact wetlands to one of the most pressing challenges of our times, climate change. The theme has been chosen to initiate action against the drainage of wetlands.

The theme Wetlands and Climate Change is aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of wetlands, such as swamps, marshes, mangroves or peatlands, to help us cope with and mitigate global warming.

Significance of Wetlands

The importance of Wetlands is listed below:

  • Almost 90% of disasters are water-related and affects 60% of humanity that lives along coastlines by flooding and tsunamis. Wetlands are key to climate change mitigation.
  • Wetlands function as a natural and extremely efficient carbon sink. For Example, peatlands which cover only 3% of land mass, absorb and store twice the amount of carbon as all the world’s forests combined.
  • Wetlands act as a buffer for climate catastrophes that help communities be resilient against the immediate impacts of climate change.

Why February 2nd is celebrated as World Wetland Day?

The World Wetlands Day aims to bring attention towards the protection of the fragile wetlands which are threatened by human activity. The rate of disappearance of Wetlands is 1% which is at a higher rate than deforestation. Wetlands are also are exposed to draining and burning for agricultural enterprise and rural development, as well as rising sea levels.

World Wetlands Day is celebrated on 2 February 1971 to commemorate the signing of the Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention at the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The two-fold objectives of the Ramsar Convention are Conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands and stop the encroachment and loss of wetlands.

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