World Wetlands Day in 2024: what exactly are wetlands? Everything you need to know

World Wetlands Day in 2024: what exactly are wetlands? Everything you need to know

Every year on February 2, the world celebrates World Wetlands Day to promote awareness of the value of wetlands and their preservation. For the benefit of people and the environment, wetlands must be protected and restored, as this day offers as a reminder.

Organisations, governments, and communities utilise a range of activities, including seminars, workshops, nature walks, clean-up initiatives, and educational programmes, to increase public awareness of the value of wetlands and the necessity of protecting them.

Everything you should know about this day is as follows:

History of World Wetlands Day

On this day in 1971, the international treaty known as the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands was adopted in Ramsar, Iran. The convention’s goal is to conserve and use wetlands sustainably throughout the world. India is one of the most active members of the group and is a party to the Ramsar Convention.

The number of wetlands in India increased from 75 to 80 recently, demonstrating the nation’s dedication to protecting its ecological sites.

What are wetlands?

The term “wetlands” refers to a wide variety of ecosystems, including mangroves, peatlands, marshes, swamps, and estuaries. They are essential for maintaining biodiversity, regulating water flow, supplying clean water, and mitigating the effects of climate change.

Theme of 2024’s World Wetlands Day:

Every year, World Wetlands Day features a different theme that highlights different aspects of wetland management and conservation. The topic for World Wetlands Day in 2024 is ‘Human Wellbeing and Wetlands‘.

Importance of World Wetlands Day:

Wetlands support a wide variety of plant and animal species, making them some of the planet’s most productive ecosystems. For many species of birds, fish, amphibians, and mammals—many of which are endangered or threatened—they provide essential habitats. In addition, wetlands offer important ecological services like carbon storage, flood control, and water filtration.

Threat to wetlands 

Wetlands are important ecologically, but they are also under threat by a number of factors, such as pollution, overexploitation, habitat loss and degradation, and climate change. Wetlands have been converted for infrastructure development, urbanisation, and agriculture, which has led to the loss of biodiversity and important ecological systems.

Wetland ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to pollution from industrial discharge, urban waste, and agricultural runoff.

Furthermore, these concerns are made worse by climate change, which also modifies precipitation patterns, increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, and raises sea levels, which has an impact on coastal wetlands like salt marshes and mangroves.

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