World Wetlands Day 2022
Every year on February 2, we observe World Wetlands Day to celebrate the vital yet often overlooked role these ecosystems play in protecting biodiversity, supporting sustainable livelihoods, and mitigating climate change. This year’s theme, “Wetlands Action for People and Nature,” emphasizes the deep interconnectivity between wetlands and the communities that live and work in their vicinity.
Found throughout the world, wetlands have played an important supporting role in humanity’s development throughout history. As in earlier eras, wetlands today are relied upon to grow food and safeguard against damaging flooding and storm surges, among many other productive uses. But despite the numerous benefits healthy wetlands provide, these ecosystems are under serious threat. For hundreds of years, wetlands the world over have been significantly degraded, and that trend continues today: According to the Ramsar Convention, we lost a staggering 35 percent of our wetlands in the 50-year period spanning 1970-2020, giving wetlands the unfortunate designation of being one of the planet’s most threatened ecosystems.
Still, it isn’t too late to take meaningful action. In addition to raising awareness about the peril facing wetlands, we must also work to ensure the sustainable management of these vulnerable ecosystems. That’s why at IWMI, we are committed to promoting the ‘wise use’ of wetlands, whereby a balance is achieved between using wetlands and conserving them, so that current and future generations alike can utilize wetlands both productively and sustainably.
On World Wetlands Day and beyond, we hope you will join us in celebrating the importance of these crucial ecosystems. We invite you to explore our curated resources on this page to gain a deeper sense of IWMI’s ongoing commitment to safeguarding the world’s wetlands for the benefit of all.