World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2nd of February to raise awareness about wetlands, its importance, and its role in ecosystem. This date also reminds the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2nd February 1971 in Ramsar, Iran.

Since 18th century, over ninety percent of wetlands have been degraded (out of which 35% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared in the last 50 years only) not only compromising biodiversity but also climate mitigation and adaptation, freshwater availability, and economies. Wetlands ecological services contribute $47.4 trillion annually to human health, happiness, and security.

This year’s theme is “It’s Time for Wetlands Restoration,” which highlights the urgent need to prioritize wetland restoration as we are left with only seven years until 2030 for us to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, time is of the essence for sure. It urges to reverse rapid loss of wetlands and encourage actions to conserve and restore them. According to Secretary General Convention on Wetlands, Dr. Mumba, for World Wetlands Day 2023, we can act in three specific ways:

  • Conscious choices to minimize our own impact on wetlands.
  • Persuasive voices to educate and activate others to get involved in wetland restoration.
  • Bold actions and taking part in wetland restoration efforts locally.

Governments and other stakeholders are critical actors towards ensuring wetland restoration actions are being implemented on the ground. Three actions that can spearhead these restoration efforts include:

  • Creating a national inventory of wetlands
  • Setting specific targets for wetland restoration
  • Promoting wise use and good management practices

Wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests, and more than 35% of wetlands have been degraded or lost since 1970. Reversing this trend is critical. The theme builds on - and contributes to the efforts to heal the planet as championed by the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. This global initiative which runs from 2021-2030 is leading and providing inspiration for restoring ecosystems around the world.

Our actions have an impact. One small action can trigger a ripple effect. Let’s join hands to restore wetlands and achieve ecosystem restoration as an ultimate goal.

#GenerationRestoration #ForWetlands

About the Author: Maryam Eqan is an Executive In-chief and Founder of The Earth Needs Love. She believes in youth engagement and activism for environment, climate, and sustainable development.