Feb 2, 1997 CE: World Wetlands Day

Feb 2, 1997 CE: World Wetlands Day

On February 2, 1997, environmentalists first celebrated World Wetlands Day.


9 - 12


Biology, Ecology, Geography, Physical Geography

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On February 2, 1997, environmentalists first celebrated World Wetlands Day. The day marks the signing of the so-called Ramsar Convention in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran. This international agreement provides a framework for the conservation and sustainable development of the world’s wetlands. Today, more than 2,000 sites are part of the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. These sites range from the enormous inland delta of the Okavango River in Botswana to the tiny lake of Mai Pokhari in Nepal to the “Nation’s Estuary” of the United States, Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia. Wetlands provide unique, often brackish, habitats for a wide variety of plant, animal, and fungal species. Mangroves, rushes, and other wetland plants help prevent soil erosion, supporting local agriculture. Coastal wetlands also serve as crucial “shock absorbers” for storm surges that could devastate inland communities. World Wetlands Day raises awareness of these and other aspects of the ecological importance of swamps, marshes, bogs, and other wetland ecosystems.

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National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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