Wetlands are a vital cog for our environment as well as human survival. Their role is significant as they protect our shores from wave action, lessen the chances of floods, reduce pollution, and improve water quality as well. Wetlands are the habitat of several kinds of unique species, animals and plants, which are generally not found in other places.
World Wetlands Day on February 2
Seeing the importance of wetlands for the survival of all living things, World Wetlands Day (WWD) has been celebrated annually since 1997. Several environmentalists had taken the initiative and inked a global agreement at Ramsar in Iran on February 2, 1971, known as ‘Convention on Wetlands’. This was done to raise awareness among the people to spread awareness about the value of wetlands for human beings, animals and plants.
2020 theme ‘Wetlands and Biodiversity’
The general theme of this year’s World Wetlands Day 2020 is ‘Wetlands and Biodiversity’. The idea behind this theme is that if our wetlands become rich with biodiversity, then several rare species, animals and plants would be saved from disappearance. As per the latest report, a global downfall of biodiversity has been taking place three times faster due to the vanishing of wetlands.
These kinds of wetlands
The time has come to spread global awareness and transmit knowledge to the people about the significance of wetlands and reverse their loss. There are different kinds of wetlands such as – ponds, marshes, lakes, floodplains, and so on are called inland wetlands. Meanwhile, saltwater, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons and coral reefs come under the category of coastal wetlands. In the end, some of them like Fish ponds, rice paddies, and saltpans come under human-made wetlands.
Need public awareness
How to raise public awareness, this is a daunting task, but it should be done for saving our environment and the life of many animals and plants.
Here is what we need to do:
- Spread the importance of wetlands on your website, social media and newsletters
- Translate the informative material regarding wetlands in your language so that ordinary people can read it and be aware of the subject.
- Try to write more blogs on wetlands to encourage people and to know its importance. Hence, write an article on this topic in your local newspaper.
- If possible, invite wetlands experts for delivering a lecture on the role of wetlands biodiversity in our environment in your schools, colleges and offices or even societies and clubs.
- Organise photo exhibition or quiz competition so that children and youngsters get encouragement in saving wetlands biodiversity.
40% of plants & animals breed in wetlands
The wetlands cover only six per cent of the total surface of the blue planet, but more than 40 per cent plants and animals produce in wetlands. But unfortunately, they are disappearing at a rapid speed due to global warming and erroneous human activities.
The decline of wetlands globally has accelerated the extinction of rare species. Corli Pretorius, Deputy-Director, United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre Corli Pretorius, said that “The loss of wetlands due to development pressure has been enormous, but these ecosystems can be restored to generate benefits for people and nature.”
It is undeniable that wetlands play a pivotal role for humans and other ecosystems, they are a vital part of balancing our climate. Wetland biodiversity plays an essential role in the betterment of our health, food supply, absorbs carbon dioxide to curb global warming and reduce pollution. Therefore, wetlands are rightly referred to as the ‘Kidney of the Earth’.