World Wetlands Day 2023

“It’s time for wetland restoration” is the Ramsar Convention’s rallying call for World Wetlands Day, 2023, and rightfully so: in the past half century alone, we’ve lost 35% of global wetlands.

Why do IWMI and institutions around the world mark February 2nd  to celebrate wetland ecosystems and draw attention to their degradation?

The reason is that wetlands provide immeasurable benefits to both humans and the environment.  Wetlands’ fertile soil and fisheries help feed communities, and their plants filter water by removing pollutants. Wetlands reduce the force of floodwater yet increase the supply of freshwater to aquifers. To 40% of plant and animal species, wetlands are the place they know as home––and this vital ecosystem contributes to protecting our planet  for all through carbon sequestration, mitigating climate change.

Human activity has significantly degraded  wetlands, but we can still take action to safeguard these vulnerable ecosystems.

Together, we can restore what has been lost and work to ensure the sustainable management of wetlands. Indeed, this is possible––and IWMI has been making strides to promote the wise use of wetlands for the past two decades and counting.

Currently, IWMI researchers are working with communities to revive wetland management across South Asia and Africa. At our headquarters in Sri Lanka, IWMI is increasing the resilience of biodiversity and livelihoods in Colombo’s Ramsar-accredited wetlands through community management and monitoring. We are utilizing data collection and modeling to close water storage gaps, enhancing water security throughout South Asia. In Africa, our researchers and partners recently completed a project focused on safeguarding wetlands to improve food security and nutrition for smallholder farmers in Mali and Ethiopia.

This World Wetlands Day, we welcome you to explore our resources on this page to learn more about the ecology of wetlands and consider how you can join us in reviving and restoring these critical ecosystems.

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