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World Wetlands Day

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

World Wetlands Day:


Context:

Date: 2nd Feb Every Year. The day also marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971.

Theme: ‘Wetland Water’.

Protection: Wetlands are currently protected under different designations, including the Ramsar Convention on wetlands, the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme and others, and some of these overlap.

What are wetlands?

We can find wetlands wherever water bodies meet the land.

Wetlands include mangroves and marshes, peatlands, rivers, lakes and other water bodies, deltas, floodplains and swamps in forested areas, paddy-fields and coral reefs.

Why wetlands are crucial for a healthy planet?

The health of people on our planet depends on healthy wetlands.

  • 40% of the world’s species live or breed in wetlands.
  • Wetlands are “nurseries of life” – 40% of animals breed in wetlands.
  • Wetlands are “kidneys of the earth” – they clean the environment of pollutants.
  • Wetlands “matter for climate change” – they store 30% of land based carbon.
  • Wetlands “minimize disaster risks” – they absorb storm surge.

Wetlands in India:

India has rich wetlands famous for its biodiversity. As of December 2020, there are 42 Ramsar sites in India.

These are of global significance and are included in the Ramsar list of wetlands.

Ramsar Convention:

  • The Ramsar Convention is an international agreement promoting the conservation of wetlands.
  • The Convention was adopted at Ramsar in Iran in 1971 and came into force in 1975. Almost 90% of the UN member states are part of the Convention.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Ramsar convention.
  2. About Montreux record.
  3. Wetlands in India covered under the convention.
  4. Definition of Wetlands.

Sources: UN.