World Wetlands Day 2022

Every year, the World Wetland Day is celebrated on February 2. The day is marked to increase awareness about the importance of wetlands in the world. It is celebrated on February 2 because the Convention on Wetlands was adopted on February 2, 1971 in Ramsar, Iran. It is also popularly called the Ramsar Wetland Convention.

Theme

In 2022, the World Wetlands Day is celebrated under the following theme

“Wetland’s action for people and nature”

Wetlands in India

There are 47 wetlands in India. Their total surface area is 1 million hectares. India has lost 30% of its wetlands in the last thirty years.

Loss of wetlands and impacts

The loss of wetlands has harmful consequences on water and food security, climate change mitigation, disaster management.

Significance of wetlands

The wetlands have a major role in water security. They provide barrier against natural disasters such as flooding. They nurture complex ecosystems. They prevent soil erosion and help fight against climate change. The wetlands act as carbon stores. They act as one of the best sinks for greenhouse gases, especially carbon monoxide.

What are wetlands?

Different countries define wetlands differently. India follows Ramsar convention definition of wetlands. Ramsar convention defines wetlands as the natural and manmade sites. This includes reservoirs, tidal flats, marshes, salt pans, swamps, lakes and mangroves. Swamp is land that is permanently saturated with water. It may or may not be covered with water. The swamps are dominated by the type of trees that grow there. On the other hand, marshes are wetlands that are saturated with water and also covered with water permanently. Salt pan is formed when sea water evaporates rapidly. It is then replenished by rain water. Tidal flats are coastal wetlands. They are formed in inter tidal areas. Here the sediments are deposited by the rivers or tides.

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