World Wetland Day

The science is clear. Wetlands are the most effective carbon sinks on our planet.” This strong and positive statement is from Martha Rojas Urrego, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, to mark 2019’s World Wetlands Day with the theme of ‘Wetlands and Climate Change’. Although rainforests have long been viewed as the ‘lungs of the planet’, research shows that we have another natural tool in our arsenal for the fight against climate change: wetlands.

The unrealized potential for climate mitigation and the planet’s most effective carbon sinks are the wetlands. Providing its benefits to the natural environment as well as to humans, wetlands are an important ecosystem. World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2nd February. In sync with the theme set by Ramsar Convention, Government of Tamil Nadu Forest Department, Villupuram Forest Division & Universal Eco Foundation (UEF) jointly organized “World Wetland Day – 2019” which was celebrated at Government Primary School, Koonimedu Kuppam.

Grow-Trees takes pride in the involvement of such a thoughtful event. The project coordinator of Grow-Trees, Mr Basant Sharma, was the guest of honour at the event. He gave an impactful speech stressing the importance of wetland biodiversity.

Millions of people in India are supported directly or indirectly by wetlands. The destruction of wetlands is a concern. They provide a range of ecosystem services that benefit humanity, including water filtration, storm protection, flood control and recreation. The very nature of wetlands habitat is shaped by water and rainfall patterns – the natural fluctuations in water levels are a major reason why wetlands support such a unique and diverse range of species. Added to this is the impact of temperature itself – even a change of a few degrees could be catastrophic for wetland ecosystems,and in the case of increased temperatures and resultant evaporation many seasonal wetlands may dry out too rapidly to support the species that depend on them.

Although they risk being severely impacted by climate change, wetlands are also an important part of the puzzle to protect against the most severe impacts and even the problem itself. WWT’s Director of conservation, James Robinson, explains: “Most of the world’s soil carbon is held in wetlands, yet these precious habitats are declining at an alarming rate. Over a third of wetlands have disappeared since 1970. The vital services, like climate change mitigation, provided by healthy wetlands far outweigh those of terrestrial ecosystems and we ignore their loss at our peril.

At Grow-Trees, we realize the importance of nature and promote through different ways its protection and safeguard. This event was a great platform to act on spreading essential awareness on wetland biodiversity and the effects of climate change.