New Delhi: Wetlands are indispensable for countless reasons – from providing humanity significant benefits, including fresh water supply, flood control, climate change mitigation, etc.
Wetlands are also vital for plants and animals to survive. In fact they are one of the most productive ecosystems in the world that give innumerable services to mankind and countless species of plants and animals.
Sadly, this precious wealth of the Mother Earth is diminishing at an alarming rate in most regions of the world. It has been reported that worldwide, at least 64% of them have disappeared since 1900.
It is our duty to protect and preserve wetlands that sustain lives, act as a natural safeguard against disasters as well as help us cope with extreme weather events. Wetlands, which are essential for both life and sustainability of the world's economies, need to be taken care of at utmost level.
Here are a few ways that can help protect wetlands to help us instead:
At communities level
Adopting practices that ensure long-term sustainability of the local wetlands for everyone. For instance, finding out whether the wetlands in your area are being used or overused, controlling illegal fishing and dumping, clear rubbish from wetlands, unblock streams and rivers, etc.
At individual level
You can either organise or join a wetland clean-up activity.
Use water carefully and avoid toxic products from entering into wetlands.
Participate or encourage others to conserve wetlands.
Besides, policy-makers should adopt strategies that support to protect and conserve wetlands. They should also work with local stake holders and NGOs to promote sustainable management of agriculture and wetlands.
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2 February, marking the date in 1971 when the Convention on Wetlands, known as the Ramsar Convention, was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar.
Each year a theme is selected to focus attention and help raise public awareness about the value of wetlands. The theme for this year's “Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction” is selected to raise awareness and to highlight the vital role of healthy wetlands in reducing the impacts of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and cyclones on communities, and in helping to build resilience.