22nd September 2021

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World Wetlands Day: 2nd Feb

World Wetlands Day 2021: What are wetlands, their theme and meaning?

World Wetlands Day 2021 Theme: The theme for this year’s World Wetlands Day is “Wetlands and Water”. It stresses the importance of wetlands as a “source of fresh water and encourages action to restore them and stop their loss”.

  • Today is World Wetlands Day. Wetlands are among the most fragile and sensitive ecosystems in the world, harboring unique habitats for plants and animals and providing livelihoods for millions of people around the world. Wetlands are amazing for capturing and storing carbon. Wetlands are found in all countries across climatic zones, from polar regions to tropical belts and high altitudes to coastal areas and arid and dry deserts. World Wetlands Day is celebrated on February 2 every year to raise awareness around the world of the vital role wetlands play for people and our planet.

World Wetlands Day 2021: What are wetlands?

We can find wetlands where water bodies meet land. Wetlands include mangroves and marshes, peatlands, rivers, lakes and other water bodies, deltas, floodplains and swamps in forested areas, rice paddies and coral reefs. Wetlands are places protected by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). There are over 2,400 protected wetlands around the world.

2021 theme for World Wetlands Day

The theme for World Wetlands Day 2021 is “Wetlands and Water”. It stresses the importance of wetlands as a “source of fresh water and encourages action to restore them and stop their loss”. This year’s theme for World Wetlands Day is more meaningful as the United Nations Decades of Ocean Science and Ecosystem Restoration begin in 2021.

World Wetlands Day: Find out why wetlands are essential for a healthy planet

The health of the people of our planet depends on the health of wetlands. “40% of the world’s species live or breed in wetlands, but they are disappearing three times faster than forests,” says the United Nations Development Agency. Here’s why wetlands are important:

  • Wetlands are “nurseries of life”: 40% of animals reproduce in wetlands.
  • Wetlands are the “kidneys of the earth”: they clean the environment of pollutants.
  • Wetlands “are important for climate change”: they store 30% of terrestrial carbon.
  • Wetlands “minimize disaster risk”: absorb storm surges.
  • Wetlands “provide livelihoods for a billion people”; its ecosystems are worth $ 47 trillion a year.
  • Healthy people and ???? they depend on healthy wetlands. 40% of the world’s species live or reproduce in wetlands, but they are disappearing 3 times faster than forests.
  • On today’s #WorldWetlandsDay, see 5 reasons why they matter for #ClimateAction and join us to conserve and #RestoreWetlandspic.twitter.com/acIRTXia2X

— UN Development (@UNDP) February 2, 2021

India has rich wetlands renowned for their biodiversity. As of December 2020, there were 42 Ramsar sites in India. These are of global importance and are included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands. The Ramsar Convention is an international agreement that promotes the conservation of wetlands. The Convention was adopted at Ramsar in Iran in 1971 and entered into force in 1975. Almost 90% of the UN member states are party to the Convention.

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