World Wetlands Day
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World Wetlands Day occurs annually on February 2, marking the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971 when a small group of environmentalists signed an international agreement at the Ramsar Convention in Iran.[better source needed]
Established to raise awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet, WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997 and has grown since then. Each year, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits such as conservation. Some of these benefits include: biologically diverse ecosystems that provide habitat for many species, serve as buffers on the coast against storms and flooding, and naturally filter water by breaking down or transforming harmful pollutants.
Since 1998 the Ramsar Secretariat, with financial support from the Danone Group Evian Fund for Water, a variety of outreach materials which include logos, posters, factsheets, handouts and guide documents to support country activities organized to celebrate WWD, have been produced. These materials are available for free download on the World Wetlands Day website in the three languages of the Convention: English, French, and Spanish (www.worldwetlandsday.org). All the materials are also available in their design files for event organizers to customize and adapt them to their local languages and contexts. A few print copies are available to countries upon request to the Secretariat.
World Wetlands Day Youth Photo Contest
Starting in 2015, a month-long Wetlands Youth Photo Contest that starts on 2 February, was introduced as a part of a new approach to target young people and get them involved in WWD. People between ages 15 through 24 can take a picture of a certain wetland and upload it to the World Wetlands Day website between the months of February and March. Thanks to Star Alliance Biosphere Connections, the prize awarded to the winner of the photo contest is a chance to visit a wetland of their choice from the over 2200 Ramsar Sites all over the world.
Since 1997 the Ramsar website has posted reports from about 100 countries of their WWD activities. In 2016 a map of events was introduced to help countries promote their activities and to facilitate reporting after WWD www.ramsar.org/activity/world-wetlands-day.
World Wetlands Day Themes
Each year a theme is selected to focus attention and help raise public awareness about the value of wetlands. Countries organize a variety of events to raise awareness such as ; lectures, seminars, nature walks, children’s art contests, sampan races, community clean-up days, radio and television interviews, letters to newspapers, to the launch of new wetland policies, new Ramsar Sites and new programmes at the national level.
|2020||Wetlands and Biodiversity|
|2019||Wetlands and Climate Change|
|2018||Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future|
|2017||Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction|
|2016||Wetlands For Our Future: Sustainable Livelihoods|
|2015||Wetlands For Our Future|
|2014||Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners for Growth|
|2013||Wetlands Take Care of Water|
|2012||Wetland Tourism: A great experience|
|2011||Forests for water and wetlands|
|2010||Caring for wetlands – An answer to climate change|
|2009||Upstream, Downstream: Wetlands connect us all|
|2008||Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People|
|2007||Fish for tomorrow?|
|2006||Livelihoods at Risk|
|2005||There's Wealth in Wetland Diversity
- Don't Lose It
|2004||From the mountains to the sea – Wetlands at work for us|
|2003||No wetlands – no water|
|2002||Wetlands : Water life and culture|
|2001||A wetland world – A world to discover|
|2000||Celebrating our wetlands of international importance|
|1999||People and wetlands- the vital link|
|1998||Importance of water to life & role of wetlands in water supply|
|1997||WWD celebrated for the first time|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to World Wetlands Day.|