World Wetlands Day is an eco-celebration that dates back to the year of 1971 when several environmentalists gathered to reaffirm the protection and love for wetlands, which are the small ecosystems of plant life and organisms found within water bodies that bring about ecological health in abundance to not only water bodies but environments as a whole.
The World Wetlands Secretary Department is originally from Gland, Switzerland and in accordance to the beginning of World Wetlands Day, the Ramsar convention first attributed this recognition in “the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea”.
World Wetlands Day is celebrated on the second day of February every year, though it was not originally celebrated until 1997. This day serves to recognize the influence and positive production that Wetlands have had on the world and in terms brings communities together for the benefit of Mother Nature.
This day, also raises global awareness because wetlands play a significant role not only in people but in the planet. Community protectors and environmental enthusiast all come together on this day to celebrate their love for nature through celebration, which recognizes what wetlands have done for not only us humans, but all sorts of organisms in this world.
Over time, human construction has led to various ecological problems affecting wetlands. Overpopulation and construction have led to a decrease in environmental conservation and in total has brought upon issues to these lands. Many wetlands are being lost and ecologists claim that human should recognize this dilemma before the loss of a natural filter and conserver of the world.
Celebrating World Wetlands Day reminds of the following facts;
- Only 2.5 % of water on the earth is fresh water
- Less than 1% is usable
- Our water usage has increased sixfold in 100 years and rises by 1% each year
- Almost 2.2 billon people do not have access to safe drinking water
- Clean water is critical for healthy lives
How can one get involved?
- Organize a conference or open day at a Wetland Centre or Wetland of International Importance.
- Invite wetland experts to explain the role of wetlands for climate change.
- Hold an exhibition to present and showcase arts or photographs about wetlands.
- Organize a community walk, bike or run for wetlands.
- Plan a wetland clean-up day.
- Organize a photo or essay competition.
- Visit a Wetland of International importance in your country.
- Write a blog or article in your local paper.
- Inform journalists and other media about how wetlands are important for climate change.
Or organize a classroom discussion
- Get students to think about how wetlands naturally help us cope with climate change.
- Hold a discussion on why wetlands continue to be degraded around the world and what actions are necessary to stop this loss.
- Organize a quiz about the different types of wetlands that help us cope with climate change. Use the exercise to highlight the other multiple benefits of wetlands to people such as providing water, source of livelihoods.