World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year on the February 2, each year..
Craig Billows, our resident wetland ecologist at Clonard, with over 30 years’ experience shares, “I have learnt to appreciate the hidden beauty of wetlands, where many see them as dirty, smelly swamps, only fit for draining or filling in. However, I understand their complexity and values, not only from a scientific perspective but also socially, culturally, economically, educationally and environmentally. It has been reported by the UN that the ecological services that wetlands provide contribute $47.4 trillion annually to human health, happiness, and security.
Individually, wetlands have benefits such as providing habitat to native plant and animal species, improving the quality of water runoff, offering locations for recreational pursuits and providing cultural connection to first nations communities. Collectively wetlands have immense influence on global climate control by sequestering carbon and greenhouse gases and holding them in their sediments and vegetation for many thousands, if not millions of years. They also provide a network of habitats across the globe for many animals such as birds, fish and mammals with many seasonally migrating up to several thousands of kilometers to complete their grueling and precarious life cycle.
However, the ongoing global destruction of wetland ecosystems is still a major contributor to global warming and biodiversity decline. It’s hard to believe that such destruction is still occurring in this day and age. In fact, according to the United Nations, 35% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared in the last 50 years. So, the United Nations is inviting the world’s population to respond in a positive and practical way.”
Hence this year’s theme for World Wetlands Day is:
It’s Time for Wetlands Restoration
Good News Story – Watch this 3-minute GOOD NEWS STORY to find out about how Wetland Restoration is making a difference in Western Victoria. – Bringing an Australian wetland back to life – BBC News on Nature Glenelg Trust’s Walker Swamp – YouTube