We celebrate World Wetlands Day to raise global awareness about the essential role of wetlands for humanity and our planet. World Wetlands Day was celebrated for the first time, 50 years ago, on February 2, 1971, which also marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
This year’s World Wetlands Day Theme
“Wetlands and Water” is this year’s World Wetlands Day theme. The theme highlights wetlands as a source of freshwater and shines a light on wetlands’ contribution to the quantity and quality of freshwater on our planet. In fact, wetlands hold and provide most of our freshwater. They are inseparably connected with water and crucial to life and our planet’s wellbeing and health. Today, we face a growing freshwater crisis that poses an immense threat to humans, animals and our planet.
We use more freshwater than nature can replenish, and we are destroying the ecosystem that water and all life depend on most – Wetlands. (Ramsar Convention, 2021)
What Does BCWF’s Wetlands Education Program Do for Wetlands?
Since 1996, the BCWF’s Wetlands Education Program has been
- Raising awareness about the importance of wetlands
- Building capacity among a community of stewards
- Protecting the wetlands we have and restoring the ones we have lost
The BCWF celebrates this year’s World Wetlands Day by raising awareness about the importance of wetlands, their current state in Canada and taking a look back at what our BCWF Wetlands Education Program has accomplished.
With over 50 wetlands restoration projects completed and over 12,000 people engaged in wetlands conservation, the Wetlands Education Program has been working hard to protect, restore, enhance and conserve B.C.’s wetlands since 1996.
Wetlands are some of the most diverse and productive ecosystems in the world, and Canada has a quarter of all wetlands on the planet. Wetlands provide food, shelter and nesting grounds for fish and wildlife. Although these areas are valuable, they are disappearing faster than most other natural areas as they are sensitive to change.
Did You Know About These 10 Wetlands Facts?
- Wetlands are biodiversity hotspots.
- 40% of the world’s species live and breed in wetlands.
- Wetlands hold and provide most of our freshwater.
- They naturally filter pollutants, leaving water we can safely drink.
- They also reduce the impact of storms by absorbing storm surges and flood water
- Since 1700, nearly 90% of the world’s wetlands are lost and the ones remaining are disappearing three times faster than forests worldwide.
- 25% of all wetland species and one in three freshwater species face extinction
- Canada has 25% of the world’s remaining wetlands. 1.29 million km2 of Canada is covered by wetlands – more than five times the area of The Great Lakes!
- Canada has lost more than half of its original wetlands through draining or filling
In southern B.C. 60–98% of wetlands have been lost
Now, it’s Your Turn: Test Your Knowledge about Wetlands!
Take the quiz below and find out if you are an expert on wetlands.
Learn More & Get Involved:
- Stay tuned for our 2021 Wetlands Education Programs.
- In the meantime, check out the 2020 Wetlands Institute Speaker Series webinars from 2020.
- Learn more about the Ramsar Convention on wetlands.
- Become a BCWF Member.
- Support BCWF’s work.
About. (2021). Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Retrieved 01/02/2021. https://www.ramsar.org/about-the-convention-on-wetlands-0
Materials. (2021). World Wetlands Day by Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Retrieved 01/02/2021. https://www.worldwetlandsday.org/materials