With so much ill-informed and noisy rhetoric lately about “draining the swamp”, this year’s World Wetlands Day is more important than ever.
Wetlands are among the world’s most productive habitats, every bit as important as tropical rainforests. Thanks to the many vital ecosystem services they provide, they’re as critical for human survival as they are for the myriad species of plants and animals that live in and around them.
Yet over the past century the world has lost almost two thirds of its wetlands, with most of the loss in the last 50 years.
Today is World Wetlands Day. This annual event is observed on February 2, marking the date in 1971 on which the international Ramsar Convention, a treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, was signed.
World Wetlands Day is aimed at raising awareness of the importance of wetlands and the valuable benefits they bring us. This year’s theme is “Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction”: how healthy wetlands – and yes, this includes swamps – can help us cope with extreme weather events. It’s an increasingly important topic as we face the mounting impacts of climate change.
Enough draining already, thanks. Instead, let’s treasure and preserve our remaining wetlands at home and around the world – today and every day of the year.
For more info on wetlands and World Wetlands Day:
The Importance of Wetlands (Ramsar)
Why Canada Matters on World Wetlands Day (Huff Post)
Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction (World Wetlands Day)