Wetlands: the unsung heroes of the planet

Long undervalued, wetlands provide a trove of ecosystem services - read more to find out how

Dan Meyers, Unsplash
7 March 2022
Landscape News Editor

Wetlands are some of the planet’s most important ecosystems. They’re a haven for wildlife, they filter pollution and they’re important stores of carbon.

But they’re also one of the Earth’s most threatened habitats. Some 85 per cent of wetlands present in 1700 were lost by 2000, many drained to make way for development, farming or other “productive” uses. Disappearing three times faster than forests, their loss spells an existential threat for hundreds of thousands of animal and plant species.

“Healthy wetlands – critical for climate mitigation, adaptation, biodiversity, and human health and prosperity – punch above their weight in terms of benefits,” says Leticia Carvalho, Principal Coordinator for Marine and Freshwater at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). “Making sure that they continue to deliver vital ecosystem services to humanity requires… their prioritization, protection, restoration, better management and monitoring.”

Carvalho made the comments on the eve of World Wetlands Day, which falls on 2 February. This year, for the first time since it was established by Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1972, World Wetlands Day is being observed as a United Nations international day.

Continue reading the full story at UN Environment.

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, led by the United Nations Environment Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and partners, covers terrestrial as well as coastal and marine ecosystems. A global call to action, it will draw together political support, scientific research and financial muscle to massively scale up restoration. Find out how you can contribute to the UN Decade.

For more information, please contact Lis Mullin Bernhardt: lis.bernhardt@un.org

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