The United Nations(UN)’s World Wetlands Day is annually observed across the globe on 2nd February to create awareness about the critical importance of Wetlands and their roles in maintaining the natural cycles and supporting a wide range of biodiversity.
The theme of World Wetlands Day 2022 is “Wetlands Action for People and Nature”.
Campaign 2022: The message of the 2022 World Wetland Day campaign is Value, Manage, Restore, and of course – Love – Wetlands.
i.World Wetlands Day awareness campaign is organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands.
ii.Contracting Parties of the Convention on Wetlands have been celebrating World Wetlands Day since 1997.
- The first ever World Wetlands Day was observed in 1997.
iii.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/75/317 on 30th August 2021 and decided to proclaim the 2nd February of every year as World Wetlands Day.
- The 2nd February 2022 marks the observance of the first ever UN-recognised World Wetlands Day.
i.The day marks the date of the adoption of the “Convention on Wetlands of International Importance” held in 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
ii.The day also marks the anniversary of the Convention on Wetlands, which was adopted as an international treaty in 1971.
Wetlands and the SDGs:
Wetlands play a major role in achieving several Sustainable Development Goals(SDG).
- Goal 6: focuses on ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
- Goal 14: focuses on the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
- Goal 15: focuses on life on land.
Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention):
i.The Convention on Wetlands adopted in 1971 is the intergovernmental treaty that provides a framework for the conservation and use of wetlands and their resources.
ii.At present, the convention has been adopted by 172 countries, and each country that joined the convention must designate at least one wetland included in the list of Wetlands of International Importance – Ramsar sites.
India gets 2 New Ramsar sites on World Wetlands Day:
i.On the occasion of World Wetlands Day 2022, Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary (“Ramsar Site” no. 2464) in Gujarat and Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary (Site no. 2465) in Uttar Pradesh(UP) were declared as the Ramsar sites.
ii.The ‘National Wetland Decadal Change Atlas’ was also released on the occasion of World Wetlands Day 2022.
iii.The original Wetland Atlas was released in 2011.
iv.As of February 2022, there are 49 Ramsar sites in India, which covers a total area of 10,93,636 Ha, the highest in South Asia.
i.Around 40% of all the plants and animals species lives or breed in wetlands.
ii.The wetlands across the globe (both inland and marine/coastal wetlands) has decreased by around 35%, the wetlands are disappearing 3 times faster than forests.
iii.Coastal wetlands sequester and store carbon up to 55 times faster than tropical rain forests.
About United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP):
Executive Director– Inger Andersen
Member States– 193
Founded in 1972
Headquarters– Nairobi, Kenya