World Wetlands Day is
celebrated internationally each year on 2 February.
World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997. Since
then government agencies, non-government organisations
and community groups have celebrated World Wetlands Day
by undertaking actions to raise public awareness of
wetland values and benefits and promote the conservation
and wise use of wetlands.
World Wetlands Day 2016
The international theme for World Wetlands Day 2016 is
Wetlands for our future: sustainable livelihoods.
Wetlands play an important
role in the processes that keep our landscapes healthy
and productive. They support industries such as
agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism by
supplying water for crops, stock and people, maintaining
water quality, providing habitat for commercial species
and having cultural and recreational values. Wetlands
host a huge variety of life, protect our coastlines,
provide natural defences against river flooding or storm
surges and store carbon dioxide to regulate climate
Threats to wetlands
direct threats for inland wetlands are infrastructure
development (dams, dykes, road, residential and
commercial buildings), land reclamation and
indirect threats are aquaculture, agriculture, reduced
water flow, depletion of ground and surface water
supplies, introduction of invasive alien species, and
organic and inorganic pollutants.
Simple steps to protect
not throw garbage into wetland
not pollute the wetland with sewage water
not clog the wetlands with plastic waste
not harm the wetland birds and plants
not build houses and other habitation in wetland
On this World Wetland Day,
I urge all to take responsibility for environmental
sustainability and social equality for better wetland
management. The current global population of seven
billion is expected to grow to nine billion by 2050.
But the number of wetlands need not decrease. By
promoting wetland management, we can save money and
resources, minimize environmental impacts and, most
importantly, move towards a world where everyone can
fulfill their dreams.
I once again urge all
citizens to join us to achieve this year's theme.