February 2 is World Wetlands Day
February 2 marks World Wetlands Day and the anniversary of the Convention on Wetlands, an intergovernmental treaty adopted in 1971 and which now has a global membership of 172 countries. World Wetlands Day aims to increase public awareness of how much wetlands do for humanity and the planet, and to promote actions that will lead to their conservation, wise use, and restoration.
Wetlands are in Danger
Wetlands are critically important ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaptation, freshwater availability, world economies, and more. According to the Convention on Wetlands, nearly 90% of the world’s wetlands have been degraded since the 1700s, and we are losing wetlands three times faster than forests. Threats include development, grazing and climate change. Read our article for more on wetlands.
What We Can Do
Wetlands that have already been impacted can benefit from restoration. Benefits of restoring wetlands across the planet include:
- increased biodiversity
- replenished and filtered water supply
- enhanced protection against floods and storms
- more local and sustainable livelihoods, less poverty
- increased tourism, higher quality leisure time
- increased carbon storage and avoided emissions
- inner satisfaction of achieving a transformation
View the full infographic: 7 Benefits of Restoring Wetlands
Fully re-creating the benefits of a natural wetland may take time, but with restoration many harmful effects of degradation can be reversed. Successful wetland restoration projects follow these best practices:
- restore multiple benefits
- develop a restoration plan
- involve the community
- address the causes of degradation
- restore native flora and fauna
- clean up the degraded area
- structure access to the wetland (as appropriate)
View the full infographic: 7 Best Practices in Wetland Restoration
Wetland Protection in the Thompson Watershed
What’s even better than restoring wetlands? Preventing their loss! To help protect wetlands in the Thompson Okanagan, TNCC is working in partnership with Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program on the multi-year initiative Conservation Planning for Climate Change. One of the initiative’s projects will be looking closely at where wetlands are currently found in the Thompson Watershed.
We know climate change and the related changes in temperature, precipitation, drought, flooding and more will impact wetlands. Not only will wetlands change, but some will be more sensitive and less resilient to climate change than others. As a result, we are working on models to help us identify and protect the wetlands most resilient to climate change. Read more.
Pitch Your Wetlands Project for a 10,000 Euro Grant: If you have an idea for a project to benefit wetlands, you can pitch for the opportunity to receive a 10,000 euro grant from the Convention of Wetlands, provided by Danone. Applications are being accepted from February 2-March 2, 2023.
Feature Photo by Dru! via Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0