The Natural Heritage Department (NHD) will next Tuesday, February 2, join its international counterparts in observing World Wetlands Day under the theme: "Caring for Wetlands – An answer to Climate Change".
As part of the local observance, the NHD will be facilitating a tour of the Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge in Woodbourne, Christ Church, for students of the Wesley Hall Infants, Holy Innocents and Gordon Greenidge Primary schools, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
The aim of the tour is to educate students about wetland and shorebird conservation and, by extension, how caring for wetlands could be an answer to climate change.
The Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge forms part of a larger project, supported by Birdlife International, which is increasing the survival prospects for migratory shorebirds on the island.
It is an important habitat not only for shorebirds, but also for many other species of waterbirds. According to the NHD, without these artificially managed and maintained wetlands, the richness of the island’s avian species would be considerably diminished.????????
The annual World Wetlands Day observance marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention) in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
Each year since 1997, government agencies, non-governmental organisations, and community groups have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake activities aimed at raising public awareness of wetlands, their values and benefits in general and, the Ramsar Convention in particular.??
The Convention’s mission is "the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world".
The?? agreement?? uses a?? broad definition of the types of wetlands covered in its mission, including lakes and rivers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands and peatlands, oases, estuaries, deltas and tidal flats, near-shore marine areas, mangroves and coral reefs, and human-made sites such as fish ponds, rice paddies, reservoirs, and salt ponds.
With 2010 being observed internationally as the Year of Biodiversity, it is expected that issues of biodiversity, sustainable living, climate change and, by extension, the role of wetlands in climate change mitigation and adaption, will remain high on national and global agendas.