February 2 marks World Wetlands Day
Tacloban City (February 1) -- World Wetlands Day which is celebrated every February 2, is an annual celebration of the importance of wetlands and how vital it is to conserve them. The celebration marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands in 1971.
This year's theme, "Wetlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change," with the slogan "Caring for wetlands: an answer to climate change", captures the sense of urgency about the need to address the potentially disastrous consequences of global climate change as quickly as possible.
The theme underscores the belief that the role of wetlands in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change must be central in all future debates about the way forward.
The public must be informed about the many ways in which the anticipated climate change may affect the health and productivity of the world's wetlands. The world must also identify some of the ways in which healthy wetlands contribute very significantly to potential solutions.
The year 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, and nations and environmental organizations are trying to assess the progress in achieving the 2010 biodiversity target agreed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002.
Actions must be made to provide a sense of how wetland biodiversity can be adversely affected by climate change and, most of all, of the importance of robust biological diversity in maintaining the wetlands' ability to provide the ecosystem services, in the face of climate change effects, upon which the whole world depends.
Most importantly, it must be emphasized that not only that wetlands must be a key part of any progress in global climate change issues, but also that the problems of climate change must be a addressed in a holistic, multi-sectoral, ecosystem-based manner.
Finally, every one is encouraged to take part at the local or national level in renewing commitment to making sure that the benefits of wetlands are understood by the decision makers, and to continue to raise the awareness of people about the importance of well-functioning wetlands for everyone. (PIA 8) [top]