▪ World Wetlands Day is an annual event celebrated on February 2 to raise awareness of the important role wetlands to play for people and the planet. It marks the adoption of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971 in the city of Ramsar, Iran.
What are Wetlands?
▪ Wetlands are areas of land that are inundated by water either permanently or periodically.
▪ They are known for their remarkable biological diversity, thanks to the unique conditions created by the flooded environment, which fosters the growth of special plants and animals adapted to low-oxygen conditions.
▪ These ecosystems are crucial habitats for a vast array of species and play a vital role in sustaining natural cycles.
▪ Additionally, wetlands serve as a crucial source of freshwater for many communities as they act as a filter, purifying the waste in the region, and regulating the water supply.
Read More About the Ramsar Wetland Sites in India 2023 with the latest Updates
How are wetlands formed?
▪ Wetlands can be found on every continent, excluding Antarctica, and are formed through various natural processes. While some wetlands develop rapidly, others take an extended period of thousands of years to form. The formation of wetlands is facilitated by processes such as:
▪ man-made processes like highway or dam construction and irrigation projects also create wetlands.
▪ Receding glaciers or glacier melting
▪ Periodic flooding of river floodplains
▪ Wind action form depressions, many of which become wetlands
▪ Waterfalls, currents, and wave action also form and sustain wetlands
▪ Flooding of coastal lowlands from rising sea levels
Classification of Wetlands
▪ Wetlands are primarily categorized based on the predominant vegetation or the source of water, such as:
▪ Floodplains: The wetlands formed from excess water from overflowed rivers or lakes.
▪ Swamps: Wetlands dominated by woody vegetation such as shrubs and trees.
▪ Tidal Wetlands: The wetlands formed due to oceanic tides.
▪ Estuaries: The wetlands formed from tides and river waters.
▪ Marshes: Wetlands dominated by emergent vegetation such as reeds, cattails, and sedges.
▪ Vernal ponds, and bogs: The wetlands formed from rainfall or melted water.
▪ Springs: The wetlands formed from the discharge of groundwater on the surface.
Ramsar Wetlands Site in India Map
World Wetlands Day Date
▪ Every year on February 2nd, World Wetlands Day is celebrated to highlight the significance of wetlands and raise awareness about the need for their preservation.
▪ This special day marks the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in 1971 and has been observed annually ever since.
▪ In 2022, World Wetlands Day takes on additional importance as it is now recognized as an official United Nations International Day.
World Wetlands Day History
▪ The Convention on Wetlands was established as an international treaty on February 2, 1971, in Ramsar, Iran.
▪ In 2021, the United Nations General Assembly officially declared February 2 as World Wetlands Day through resolution 75/317.
▪ Despite the treaty being in place since 1971, public awareness efforts for World Wetlands Day began in 1997 with the Convention on Wetlands Secretariat providing educational materials such as fact sheets, documents, posters, and logos.
▪ Since 2015, an annual youth photo contest has been held for the entire month of February to March to raise awareness about wetlands and their conservation.
▪ The contest is open to participants aged 15 to 24, who are encouraged to capture images of wetlands and upload them during the contest period. The winner of the contest will be given the opportunity to visit a wetland of their choice.
World Wetlands Day Significance
▪ Wetlands play a crucial role in maintaining the ecosystem as they are a hub of biodiversity, providing a home to a variety of aquatic plants and animals, as well as numerous species of birds, including migratory birds.
▪ The destruction of wetlands can cause harm to the millions of people who rely on the wetland ecosystem, either directly or indirectly. Observing World Wetlands Day helps raise awareness of the significance of wetlands and their conservation.
What are the major threats to Wetlands?
▪ Wetlands face a range of threats from both human activities and natural disturbances, both direct and indirect.
▪ The major hazards to wetlands include development, removal of vegetation, overgrazing, unsustainably utilizing water, mining, nutrient pollution leading to high levels of dissolved nitrogen, water pollution, and drainage.
▪ These disturbances can result in water scarcity, upset the breeding grounds of wildlife, cause imbalances in nutrient filtration and sediment load, and negatively impact endangered species.
World Wetland Day Theme 2023
▪ The theme for 2023 is “It’s Time for Wetlands Restoration,” which highlights the urgent need to prioritize wetland restoration.
▪ The theme of the conservation effort centers around preserving our forests, trees, and wetland ecosystems, despite neglect during the technological age. It highlights the need for increased awareness and action toward sustainable development practices that prioritize the health of these important natural resources.
Why is World Wetlands Day Celebrated?
▪ World Wetlands Day is celebrated to raise awareness about the vital role of wetlands for the environment and for human well-being.
▪ Wetlands are unique ecosystems that provide numerous benefits, including water purification, flood control, carbon storage, and habitat for a variety of plant and animal species.
▪ Despite their importance, wetlands are under threat from various human activities, such as development, agriculture, and pollution.
▪ World Wetlands Day aims to raise public awareness about the importance of wetlands and the need to conserve and protect them for future generations.
Thursday is #WorldWetlandsDay. #DYK wetlands are:— Wetlands International (@WetlandsInt) January 30, 2023
🦦 home to 40% of the world’s biodiversity
🐤 nurseries and breeding grounds for many species
🐢 places of shelter for 1/3rd of the world’s threatened species#GenerationRestoration #ForWetlands #WeNeedWetlands pic.twitter.com/KQ5kfBpn8e
Why Wetlands are Called Nature’s Kidney?
▪ Wetlands are often referred to as “Nature’s Kidneys” due to their remarkable ability to filter pollutants from water and protect other ecosystems from contamination.
▪ They are considered one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet and are referred to as the “cradle of abundant animals and plants”.
▪ Natural wetlands act as “kidneys of the landscape, or earth’s Kidney” absorbing, transforming, and filtering contaminants from the land before they reach waterways, thereby preventing harm to lakes, rivers, and other water sources.
▪ Like a biological kidney, wetlands help to dilute and neutralize harmful substances, preventing the growth of toxic algae, reducing water temperatures, and protecting aquatic life.
Why wetlands are important
▪ Wetlands are crucial ecosystems, ranking among the world’s most productive, like rainforests.
▪ They provide numerous benefits to the environment and human well-being, such as purifying water, replenishing groundwater, storing water and controlling floods, stabilizing shorelines and protecting against storms, processing carbon fixation, decomposition and sequestration, filtering nutrients and pollutants, and providing habitat for various plant and animal species.
Benefits of wetlands
▪ Wetlands are essential providers of fresh water.
▪ It plays a critical role in the hydrologic cycle by receiving, storing, and releasing water, which helps replenish both groundwater and surface water supplies.
▪ They also help mitigate the impacts of climate change by storing carbon and preserving plant biomass instead of releasing it into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
▪ Wetlands serve as rich reservoirs of biodiversity and provide critical habitat for numerous species of fish, plants, and animals, many of which rely on wetlands for various stages of their life cycles.
▪ They are also important in regulating water flow and preventing soil erosion, making them a vital component of healthy and resilient ecosystems.
World Wetlands Day is coming up on Feb. 2! #DYK that 35% of the world’s #wetlands have disappeared in the last 50 years?— UN Land and Drought (@UNCCD) January 25, 2023
It’s time to revive wetlands! Explore this #WorldWetlandsDay kit from @RamsarConv and help make a splash for #wetlands #UNited4Land
💦 https://t.co/MjfRomdDBm pic.twitter.com/dISwa1kLTX
World Wetlands Day Speech
Dear friends and Nature Lovers,
Today we gather to celebrate World Wetlands Day, a day devoted to raising awareness about the significance and importance of wetlands and their conservation.
Wetlands are some of the best productive ecosystems on our planet, providing crucial habitats for numerous species of plants and animals, as well as vital services to humanity, such as water purification, flood control, and carbon sequestration.
Wastelands support the livelihood of many people through various enterprises, including fish, vegetable, and rice cultivation in wetlands.
Despite their enormous value, wetlands are also among the most threatened habitats on earth, with an estimated 35% having been lost globally since the 1970s. This is why it is so important that we come together on World Wetlands Day to highlight their significance and work towards their protection.
Let us all make a commitment to protecting and restoring wetlands wherever we can so that future generations can continue to enjoy the many benefits they provide. By working together, we can ensure that wetlands will continue to be a vital part of our planet’s biodiversity and a source of life for countless species.
Thank you for joining me in this celebration of World Wetlands Day. Let us continue to spread the message and work together to protect these incredible ecosystems.
World Wetland Day Quotes
▪ “Wetlands Biodiversity is calling to save their resources. Give yourself some moments to save the earth. “
▪ “The wetlands help to sustain life on this planet and so it is of utmost importance that we save the wetlands.”
▪ “Wetlands are nature’s gift to humanity and we must realize their importance before it’s too late.”
▪ “Stop Draining, the life of wetlands use wisely. It is the deepest biodiversity of our earth. “
▪ “If the wetlands were to vanish, a lot of different species of plants and animals would get extinct.”
▪ “Rewet, Revive Forests, and Restore wetlands. It is the greatest opportunity for the sea life.”
“If the wetlands dry up or get filled with land for housing and buildings, the balance in the ecosystem will get shaken.”
▪” Strengthen to power the wetlands will revive the Human Strengthen.”
▪ ” The more knowledge you gain about wetlands, the better you will realize how important a role they play in our lives.”
World Wetlands Day Wishes
▪ “Here’s to the wetlands, the lungs of the earth, on World Wetlands Day.”
▪ “Here’s to the wetlands, the home of diverse wildlife!”
▪ “Sending love to all the wetlands and the creatures that call them home.”
▪ “World Wetlands Day is a reminder of the crucial role wetlands play in our planet’s health.”
▪ “Wishing for the preservation of our wetlands on World Wetlands Day!”
▪ “Honoring the role wetlands play in regulating our water cycle on World Wetlands Day.”
▪ “Happy World Wetlands Day! May we always protect these precious ecosystems?”
▪ “Let’s work together to conserve wetlands for future generations.”
▪ “Wishing for a world where wetlands are protected and cherished, Happy World Wetlands Day!”
▪ “May we always remember the importance of wetlands for biodiversity and human well-being.”
▪ “Let’s take action to restore and protect wetlands on this World Wetlands Day.”
▪ “Here’s to the wetlands, the source of life for countless species, on World Wetlands Day.”
▪ “Celebrating the beauty and importance of wetlands on World Wetlands Day!”
▪ “Wishing for a future where wetlands are protected and restored on this World Wetlands Day.”
▪ “Happy World Wetlands Day! Let’s work together to keep these precious ecosystems thriving.”
On #WorldWetlandsDay, let’s take a moment to appreciate the vital role #wetlands play in maintaining #biodiversity & protecting our planet 🌎— UN Biodiversity (@UNBiodiversity) January 31, 2023
Safeguarding & restoring our wetlands lies at the heart of solving our multiplanetary crises
via @RamsarConv pic.twitter.com/Medpf032B2
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. When was world wetlands day first celebrated?
Answer: February 2, 1971
Q2. What is the theme of world wetlands day 2023?
Answer: The theme for 2023 is: “It’s Time for Wetlands Restoration”
Q3. Why is world wetlands day celebrated?
Answer: Every year on February 2nd, World Wetlands Day is celebrated to highlight the significance of wetlands and raise awareness about the need for their preservation.
Q4. World Wetlands day is observed every year on?
Answer: February 2