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| Last Updated:: 02/02/2018

World Wetlands Day 2018












World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year globally on February 2. The Convention on Wetlands was adopted on February 2, 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Hence the convention is also called Ramsar Convention. The first World Wetlands Day was celebrated in 1997 and since then it is observed across the world every year on February 2 with an aim to generate awareness on wetlands and their importance. 



Wetlands are an important part of the freshwater ecosystem. They are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rain forests and coral reefs. Since a rich array of species of microbes, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish and mammals can be part of a wetland ecosystem; it has a huge significance on water resources, biodiversity, culture and livelihood of the people. Wetlands are beneficial for life because they provide ecosystem services. Wetlands include all lakes and rivers, underground aquifers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands, peat lands, oases, estuaries, deltas and tidal flats, mangroves and other coastal areas, coral reefs, and all human-made sites such as fish ponds, rice paddies, reservoirs and salt pans. Wetlands provide humanity, ranging from freshwater supply, food and building materials and biodiversity, to flood control, groundwater recharge and climate change mitigation. 



Wetlands are also called Ramsar sites, and their number across the world today stands at 2,200, which cover over 2.1 million square kilometers, an area larger than Mexico. Presently there are over 160 countries that are Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention. India is a party to the Convention since 1982 and committed to the Ramsar approach of wise use of wetlands. 



When Contracting Parties accede to the convention, they commit to working towards the wise use of all the wetlands and water resources in their territory through national plans, policies and legislation, management actions and public education. 




How World Wetlands Day Is Celebrated 




It is celebrated by gathering together with common people, government agencies, NGOs, non-government organizations and people of all the community to enhance the public awareness towards the significance of wetland. To celebrate this event, variety of programs like seminars, lectures, nature walks, sampan race, poster exhibitions, video films screening, slide shows based on the wetland, art and quiz competitions, painting competition, photography exhibition, community cleanup, interviews on radio and television and etc takes place at the national level at many places. Various other new wetland policies and new Ramsar sites gets launch at this day. 




Why World Wetlands Day Is Celebrated 




The Ramsar Convention offers an international structure in order to globally support the conservation and sustainable management of the wetlands. It is celebrated to make aware the public, discus the value of wetlands, its beneficial aspects as well as to promote its conservation and use for enhancing the overall level of the human health, growth and development. The event celebration plays a great role in making the healthy wetlands in order to deliver the worth ecosystem service to benefit the common people. The demands of water required for growing crops, energy supply and various needs of the industry are also focused during the celebration. It is celebrated to promote the proper use of wetlands and their resources. 




World Wetlands Day Themes 




Each year a theme is selected to focus attention and help raise public awareness about the value of wetlands. The theme for this year’s World Wetlands Day is “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future” as approved by the Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. 



The international theme for World Wetlands Day 2018 is 'Wetlands for a sustainable urban future'. This theme will be reflected in the February 2018 edition of Wetlands Australia. 



Urban wetlands make cities liveable in many important ways. They reduce flooding, replenish drinking water, filter waste, provide urban green spaces, and are a source of livelihoods. Urban wetlands should be integrated into a city's sustainable future planning and development. 



The Ramsar Convention Secretariat has developed a number of downloadable World Wetlands Day materials for 2018, including a poster, an infographic, a Power Point presentation, fact sheets and a t-shirt logo. Groups and individuals are encouraged to adapt these materials for their own World Wetlands Day events and activities.