The World Wetlands’ Day is celebrated on the 2nd of February every year. It is an international event which was celebrated first in 1971, to raise global awareness about the importance of wetlands for people and our planet. It marks the anniversary of signing the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) In Ramsar, Iran. Every year World Wetlands’ Day has a theme and this year’s theme is “ Wetlands and Water ”. This year is also a milestone as it celebrates 50 years of signing the Convention.
What are wetlands? Wetlands are areas of land either covered with water throughout the year or for some time. For instance, Sunderbans of West Bengal. We do not realise it but wetlands are a critical part of our natural ecosystem. They protect our shores from wave action, reduce the impact of floods, absorb pollutants and improve the water quality. They also sustain diverse organisms and support plants and animals that are found nowhere else.
But did you know?
These wetlands are vital to our human life as well. How? They provide us with fresh drinking water and moderate the global climatic changes!
But sadly, wetlands of India (and around the world) are polluted through industrial and agricultural waste. We lost one-third of our wetlands to ignorant advancement and urbanisation. Some of the major cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Delhi etc have lost their wetlands and soon will run out of safe drinking water. The reality remains that these wetlands are being treated as wastelands.
What can be done?
Some ways you can contribute to preserving the wetlands are saving every drop of water and spreading awareness.
We are currently in the cusp of a crisis caused due to our ignorance and greed. Protecting wetlands can protect our safety and welfare. 50 years ago, our leaders took up this challenge. Now is the time to act on it because it is better late than never.
Where to start from ? It is said that a good start means – half the work done. Well, that’s how tough is to take an initiative. Luckily, that half work is done by us already in the form of a campaign known as ‘Pani ki Baat’ launched on 24th January 2021. Just check out our website and take the oath of Water Conservation. Come along in this journey towards a better world and help us do the rest half lot of work.