2 February 2019 is World Wetlands Day, this day marks the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971 in Ramsar, Iran. This year the organisers address climate change as the central theme.

Conservation of wetlands, by stopping the drainage, contributes to the capture of greenhouse gasses and reduces climate change. Their potential is enormous as they can hold more CO2 than for instance forests. Worldwide over 1,000 events will be held to celebrate this day and raise awareness for the wise use of this vulnerable type of landscape.

dws-wetlands-day-not-powerless-350px  The importance of wetlands is increasing, now also including the fight against  climate change and reduction of migration.

Many wetlands in the world are under pressure as a result of drainage to make other land use possible, in many cases agriculture.

Especially the drainage of peatlands leads to oxidation of the peat and the release of methane, a greenhouse gas. Drainage of wetlands has the potential of a CO2-bom and undermines the Paris Climate Agreement.

Blue carbon
Better management practices can help protect the storage of carbon and the ability of wetlands function as carbon sinks by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. There is also ‘blue carbon” that is stored by coastal wetland vegetation such as mangroves, seagrasses and salt marsh grasses.

… and much more
Wetland conservation is known for its protection of nature, but there is so much more.

Wetlands act as a natural sponge, absorbing and storing excess rainfall and reducing flooding. Along coasts mangroves can act as flood defences.

Wetlands can also help to prevent migration. Dried up wetlands mean that communities lose their fishery grounds. It leaves them without water to irrigate their farm lands.

Deprived from income, communities fall into poverty and makes people decide to move elsewhere.

Read also on this website
COP24: Climate talks give new meaning to wetlands as carbon sinks, 13 December 2018
Wetlands International supports Mongolia’s battle to save its peatland, 6 November 2018
Stockholm World Water Week 2018: Open data on water availability can prevent that water scarcity leads to conflicts, 29 August 2018
World Water Forum 8: Huge potential for nature based solutions to reduce water risks, 28 March 2018

More information
World Wetlands Day 2019

Wetlands International
Ede, the Netherlands
+31 318 660 910

Building with Nature – Ecoshape
Dordrecht, the Netherlands
+31 78 611 1099