Celebrated annually on 2 February, World Wetlands Day aims to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and planet. The Day also marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
For the very first time, this important event will be officially observed within the context of the United Nations, as the UN General Assembly recently adopted it as an international day.
The UN’s decision to recognise 2 February as World Wetlands Day comes at a critical moment. We have reached an inflection point in the crises of biodiversity loss and climate change, and immediate and enduring global action has become imperative.
It is fitting that the theme for this year’s campaign is “Wetlands Action for People and Nature.” The call to action is to scale up efforts and to invest in the conservation, management, and restoration of wetlands as an efficient solution for achieving the level of ambition needed to stem the biodiversity and climate crises. It's an appeal to invest financial, human, and political capital to save the world’s wetlands from disappearing and to restore those we have degraded.
The 2022 campaign highlights three main messages:
- Value wetlands for the multiple benefits and nature-based solutions they provide for human well-being and a healthy planet.
- Manage wetlands wisely and use them sustainably so we can conserve them and maintain the health of these critically important ecosystems.
- Restore lost and degraded wetlands to revive the rich biodiversity and life found in these life-sustaining ecosystems.
The world has lost 85% of its wetlands since the 1700s, and they are disappearing three times faster than forests.
What loss of wetlands means:
- Water scarcity
- Exposure to flooding and extreme weather events
- Lost livelihoods and well-being
- Food insecurity
For the Planet
- Biodiversity decline
- Increased carbon and methane emissions
- Loss of natural freshwater filtration
Wetlands sustain life. When we destroy wetlands, we destroy life.