Editors' Blog

Green Living editors dish on the latest trends and happenings in sustainability.

February 2nd is World Wetlands Day, when government agencies, NGOs and citizens around the world celebrate these rich, beautiful parts of our nations, and raise awareness of their benefits and value. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Convention on Wetlands — called the Ramsar Convention — signed in 1971 on the shores of the Caspian Sea in Ramsar, Iran.

The theme for 2011 is Wetlands and Forests, in honour of the UN International Year of Forests, and it has a simple slogan: “Forests for Water and Wetlands.” The idea is to get the world thinking of unique areas such as mangroves, peatswamp forests and freshwater swamp forests and their biodiversity, role in freshwater management and vital role in carbon storage. Despite their beauty and utility, wetlands are often under threat from development, drainage and conversion.

Campaigns are World Wetlands Day this year aim to drive home the message thatour wetlands, whether forested or not, are linked to the health of forests in our catchments. Losing and degrading forests means losing and degrading wetlands. It’s as simple as that.

How can you help spread the word and encourage stakeholders to protect these vital areas? Visit the activities section of the World Wetlands Day site and check out the downloadable, customizable games and info packages (in English, French and Spanish) created specially for this anniversary year. You’ll find something you can use, whether you’re an individual, parent, event planner, teacher or business who wants to get involved.

Wetland image: iStockphoto.com