World Wetlands Day takes place this weekend


Climate change is one of the most pressing problems facing humanity and our planet. 'Wetlands and climate change', the theme of World Wetlands Day in 2019, draws attention to the vital role of wetlands as a natural solution to cope with such climatic shifts.

The Ramsar convention, signed in 1971, is an international agreement to protect wetlands. Every year the convention, along with its members and partners, celebrates World Wetlands Day on 2 February.

Wetlands are land areas that are saturated or flooded with water either permanently or seasonally. Inland wetlands include marshes, ponds, lakes, fens, rivers, floodplains and swamps. Coastal wetlands include saltwater marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons and even coral reefs. Fish ponds, rice paddies and salt pans are examples of man-made wetlands.

Wetlands have the potential to be hugely important in turning the tide on climate change. For example, peatlands cover just 3 per cent of the planet, yet they store almost a third of all land-based carbon. This is twice as much as all the world's forests. Coastal wetlands such as saltmarshes, mangroves and sea grass beds are also some of the most carbon-dense ecosystems on earth.

This year's World Wetlands Day is taking place this Saturday. There are hundreds of events to celebrate and raise awareness of the event around the globe, from walks and talks to workshops and seminars and even breakfast with harriers. To find out what is happening near you, please visit www.worldwetlandsday.org/en/events.