World Wetlands Day Current Affairs - 2019
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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.
The World Wetland Day (WWD) is observed every year on 2 February to raise awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet.
Significance of Day: This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands also called as Ramsar Convention on 2 February 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar.
2017 Theme: “Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction”. It seeks to raise awareness and to highlight the vital role of healthy wetlands in reducing the impacts of extreme events such as floods, cyclones and drought on communities, and in helping to build resilience.
Mangrove forests for Disaster Risk Reduction
Mangrove forests along tropical coastlines and in salt water environments are an important category of wetlands. They are a critical component of marine ecosystems, as they serve as nursery grounds for many aquatic species, including commercially important fish species. Mangroves also serve as excellent buffer zones between coastal lands and open ocean as they reduce the impacts of storms and keep coastal erosion under control. Mangrove forests also had reduced the impact of the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami. These rich mangroves ecosystems are threatened mostly by conversion into agriculture and aquaculture (shrimp farms), urban and resort development and rising sea levels.
For first time, World Wetland Day was celebrated in year 1997. Since then it is observed every year to spread awareness about Ramsar Convention in particular for conservation of Wetlands. The theme for the world wetland day 2016 was “Wetlands for our Future – Sustainable Livelihoods”.