Protect our wetlands
According to the Ramsar Convention, February 2 is World Wetlands Day. A day to emphasis the importance of one particular ecosystem.
February 2 is designated World Wetlands Day.
In 1971, in Ramsar, Iran adopted the Convention on Wetlands. It is an intergovernmental treaty and gives the framework on how wetlands need to be protected and how to use its resources wisely. The mission of the Convention is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.
Why are wetlands important? To begin with wetlands prevent flooding by holding water. They keep water levels normal and also filter and purify the surface water. They function very much like a sponge would when submerged in water. When water levels are low, wetlands slowly release the water they hold.
Besides being a store for water, they also release vegetative matter into rivers. This provides food for fish. They also counter the human effect on rivers by rejuvenating them and surrounding ecosystems.Wetlands are ideal during migration and for reproduction.
As we can see wetlands are not only essential but also unique. However, they are not isolated and independent but connected to the land around it, the flora, fauna, animals and people. It is the wetlands that improve other ecosystems because they act like cleansing agents. In fact, they work as kidneys do in a human. They control the water flow and clean the system. Wetlands clean the water because they can filter out sedimentation, decomposing vegetative matter and convert chemicals into useable form. This ability to recycle gives them an important role to play in the well being of the earth. Wetlands are probably the only eco system that is as productive or unique in its process of conversion. It is for this reason that in some places artificial wetlands have been created.
The theme for World Wetlands Day 2014 is Wetlands and Agriculure. This is because 2014 is the UN International Year of Family Farming.
The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, called the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The Ramsar Convention is the only global environmental treaty that deals with a particular ecosystem. The treaty was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and the Convention’s member countries cover all geographic regions of the planet.
For millennia, wetlands have been used directly for agriculture, and for supplying food, fuel and fibre to support lives and livelihoods. Wetlands continue to play an essential role in supporting modern day agriculture.