World Wetlands Day, 2021: Theme and Significance

World every year 2nd February celebrates World Wetlands Day to create world awareness on the significance of wetlands for humans and the planet. The world is facing an increasing water crisis as a result of human activities on nature, and the destruction of ecosystems the water, and all forms of life on-wetlands.

World Wetlands Day was adopted during Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1971 to put more spotlight on the state of wetlands globally.
World Wetlands Day 2021 was celebrated under the theme, “Wetlands and Water” to highlight the important role wetlands play on the quantity and quality of water available on the Earth. The theme seeks to promote actions that stop loss and ensures restoration of wetlands as a source of freshwater.

Wetlands play a key role in sustaining humanity and nature; and supporting social-economic development. They help in absorbing, storing, cleaning freshwater and in the protection of human beings from extreme weather impacts hence the need for their protection.

The world population is rapidly increasing and it is projected to reach 10 billion by 2050 hence more freshwater will need to meet the needs of the population. Wetlands as a source of freshwater, therefore, need urgent global attention for their conservation.

The existence of wetlands is facing global threats from human activities such as agriculture and economic development. These activities result in pollution due to chemicals, plastic waste, and untreated wastewater. These activities coupled with climate change are threatening the availability of fresh water, leaving close to 2.2 billion without clean, safe drinking water. This will affect the Global Agenda, 2015 on Sustainable Development Goals on ensuring availability and sustainable water management and sanitation.

The Wetlands Day 2021, therefore, seeks to restore wetlands, address pollution, freshwater source clean up, and efficient use of wetlands. Significant investments are required in water resource management and enactment of policies that integrate wetlands into development management plans.

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