World Wetlands Day 2006 in Australia

03/02/2006

World Wetlands Day 2006
Metropolitan Branch of Field and Game Australia

Media Release

This Year's Theme: "In the face of poverty .... wetlands are lifelines"

2006 in the City of Whittlesea, Victoria, Australia

Media inquires: John Caven, Conservation Officer/Secretary
Anytime 0407 856 392

For Release 9-00am, 30 January 2006

On 2 February each year groups from around the world convey to the world at large that our wetlands have a value and must be protected.

This day marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands on the 2nd February 1971, in the Iranian City of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. WWD was first celebrated in 1997. Please take the time to visit the Ramsar Website there is a lot we can all learn about the value of wetlands. (www.ramsar.org)

On a global scale at least 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water and at least 3 million die each year, many of them children from illness caused by contaminated water.
During the 20th century we as humans have destroyed 50% of the worlds remaining Wetlands and we have physically modified others with dams, canals and altered water flow in 60% of the worlds largest rivers. By doing this we often compromise the many valuable ecosystems functions upon which we depend.

Members of the Metropolitan Branch of Field and Game Australia and friends will commemorate this occasion this year on Saturday 4 February 2006 by visiting wetlands, and installing nest boxes which is aimed at educating the general community and informing all levels of government. Our nest box program which successfully replicates tree hollows, to assist the breeding of Australian native birds in and around our great wetlands.

As a volunteer group, funding is obtained through grants, both local and state governments and through donations. Materials are purchased, a cutting day is held with members and nest boxes are assembled by members from La Trobe University Lifeskills team. (They build a great nest box)

A monitoring program is undertaken every 21 days to enhance efficiency of nest boxes to inform, educate promote partnerships/alliances with people and groups from all walks of life.

Metropolitan Branch of Field and Game Australia is managed by members of the City of Whittlesea community and have over 500 current members.

The members from the Metropolitan Branch welcomes the community to observe the Nest Boxes from a distance to allow nature to take its course undisturbed. It is extremely important that this observation be by the use of binoculars, as human activity close to Nest Boxes will deter the birds from breeding.

Mission Statement

Field and Game Australia is a voluntary organisation formed by hunters. We partner with Government and the community in the management and sustainable utilisation of Australia's wetlands for future generation by protecting game habitats through conservation. We promote responsible firearm ownership, ethical hunting and clay target shooting.

For further information about Field and Game Australia log onto our website. (www.fga.net.au)

As conservationists/hunters, we place value on the world's wetlands.

What can you do for our wetlands in 2006 that will make a difference?

"Don't just talk about Habitat Conservation get out there and do it"

For Release 9 am, 30 January , 2006

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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