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World Wetlands Day 2021 – 2nd February

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World Wetland Day 2021World Wetlands Day is annually observed across the globe on 2nd February to create awareness about the importance of wetlands and their roles towards humans and the planet.

2nd February 2021 marks the 25th World Wetlands Day. 

The theme of World Wetlands Day 2021 is “Wetlands and Water”. 

Significance of theme:

i.The theme aims to highlight the importance of wetlands as the source of freshwater and to promote the actions to restore and stop the loss of wetlands.

ii.It is also significant since the year 2021 also marks the UN decades – United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021 – 2030) and United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 – 2030).

Background:

i.The day marks the adoption of the Conservation of Wetlands on 2nd February 1971 in Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of Caspian Sea.

ii.The first World Wetlands Day was observed in 1997.

iii.This year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of this convention.

Ramsar Convention of Wetlands:

i.The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty formally recognised by the United Nations and registered with the UN .The Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention is hosted & administered by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

ii.UNESCO acts as the depository of the legal instruments of the Convention – the Convention text and Contracting Parties instruments of accession.

iii.Ramsar Convention provides a framework for the conservation and optimised use of wetlands and their resources.

iv.Under this convention, the suitable wetlands are listed as the Wetlands of International importance – “the Ramsar List”.

v.The convention was adopted in 1971 and came into force in 1975.

vi.Around 90% of the members of the United Nations have acceded to become the ‘Contracting parties’.

Events 2021:

As a part of the celebration of World Wetlands Day 2021, the divisional forest department is set to celebrate a bird festival at the Okhla bird sanctuary, the only eco-sensitive zone of Gutam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.

Wetlands:

i.The land areas which are saturated or flooded with water either permanently or seasonally are known as Wetlands.

ii.The inland wetlands include marshers, ponds, lakes, fens, rivers, floodplains and swamps.

iii.The coastal wetlands include saltwater marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons and coral reefs.

iv.The man-made wetlands include, Fishponds, rice paddies, and saltpans

Importance of Wetlands:

i.The wetlands play a major role in the survival of humans and the wetlands plays a major role in the fight against climate change.

ii.Around 40% of all the species live or breed in wetlands

iii.The wetlands store around 30% of the land based carbon which helps in controlling the climate change.

To Climate:

The wetlands with naturally accumulated Peat layer at the surface, commonly known as Peatlands, which occupies only 3% of the world land surface stores twice the carbon as forests.

Peatland Impact Call:

i.International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) launched a Peatlands Impact Call in December 2020, as part of the Water for Climate Impact Programme. 

ii.This is the first of the three to identify and build a pipeline of projects in and around the Peatland areas.

iii.This is an action to reverse the loss and degradation of wetlands.

Aim:

  • To increase the investments in peatland protection.
  • To demonstrate bankable business models which protect peatland.
  • To Strengthen local livelihood while generating financial returns.
  • To build partnership for actions.