Wetlands help keep our environment in balance. They provide habitat for animals and plants, reduce flooding, filter waste, improve air quality, and replenish our water resources. Thus, to pay respect to this amazing natural resource, on February 2, 2018 we celebrate the World Wetlands Day.
What are wetlands?
Wetlands are those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas. The following are a some of the many benefits of wetlands:
Wetlands act as giant sponges that absorb flood waters. Rivers, ponds, lakes and marshes soak up and store heavy rainfall. In coastal cities, salt-marshes and mangroves work as a buffer against storm surges.
Replenish drinking water
Groundwater aquifers, rainwater and rivers are the source of almost all drinking water. Wetlands filter the water that seeps into aquifers, helping to replenish this important water source. Protecting rivers and limiting harmful run-off also helps safeguard the water supply.
Filter waste and improve water quality
The silt-rich soil and abundant plants in wetlands function as water fi lters, which absorb some harmful toxins, agricultural pesticides and industrial waste. Urban wetlands also help treat sewage from households.
Improve air quality
Wetlands radiate moist air thanks to their high water levels and lush plant life. This naturally cools the air in the local surroundings – a relief both in tropical cities and in extremely dry climates.
Promote human well-being
When preserved as green spaces in cities, wetlands offer residents a space for recreation and access to diversity of plant and animal life. Studies confirm that interacting with nature reduces stress and improves our health.
We invite you to be part of our journey to restore the environment as we celebrate the World Wetlands Day.