World Wetlands Day is observed every year on 2 February. It marks the date of adopting a global treaty on wetlands 40 years ago, on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
Each year since 1997, government agencies, conservation organisations and citizen groups around the world have used this anniversary to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general — and of the Ramsar Convention in particular.
In this International Year of Forests 2011, the theme for World Wetlands Day is: Forests for water and wetlands. It also marks the 40th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention.
Bordering between dry land and total water, wetlands are one of Nature’s most productive regions, and home to a high number of plant and animal species. Covering about 6 per cent of the Earth’s surface, wetland types include swamps, marshes, lakes, salt marshes, mudflats, mangroves, coral reefs, fens, peat bogs, and other bodies of water – whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary. Water within these areas may be static or flowing; fresh, brackish or saline; and can include inland rivers and coastal or marine water to a depth of six metres at low tide. There are even underground wetlands.
My weekly quiz in Daily News this week is devoted to the theme of wetlands — exploring their diversity, ecosystem services and threats to their survival.