World Wetlands Day 2009 - index page


What is World Wetlands Day?2 February each year is World Wetlands Day. It marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997 and made an encouraging beginning. Each year, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular. From 1997 to 2008, the Convention’s Web site has posted reports from more than 95 countries of WWD activities of all sizes and shapes, from lectures and seminars, nature walks, children’s art contests, sampan races, and community clean-up days, to radio and television interviews and letters to newspapers, to the launch of new wetland policies, new Ramsar sites, and new programmes at the national level.

World Wetlands Day 2009-- "Upstream, Downstream: Wetlands connect us all"

Read more here.

Our suggested slogan for World Wetlands Day 2009 is Upstream-Downstream: Wetlands connect us all, designed around a theme of wetlands and river basin management -- the role our wetlands play in their surrounding environments. To help support World Wetlands Day activities in 2009 we have produced a poster, sticker, some briefing notes to set the scene, a do-it-yourself frog to test your patience, 20 questions for young people, and two comic strips just for fun.

As always, our approach is global, yet your activities are more likely to be either national or local. Each year we encourage you, our key WWD actors, to customize our materials to make them more meaningful in your situation.

WWD materials for 2009. As in the past, the Ramsar Secretariat is distributing materials (in English, French, and Spanish) that we hope will be helpful to you in your WWD activities. The basic mailing includes -- Posters and stickers on the theme in both hard copy and in printable format on the CD -- A full-colour leaflet to brief you on 9 things we all need to know about river basins, available as a PDF file on the CD at two different resolutions --  Do-it-yourself frogs for some hands-on activity for children of all ages, available on the CD as PDF files and including an instruction sheet (no staples or glue needed this year, just some clever finger-work!) -- 20 Questions for children (maybe with a little help from their teachers or animators!) -- Two comic strips from Pattie in Argentina for your amusement. A second CD has also been prepared with the original designer files for those who wish to customize the materials or translate them into local languages, but that will be sent only on special request - and such a request should come to us as soon as possible. [See note on electronic formats on the CD.)

The first mailing took place in early October 2008, but you can ensure that you receive the materials, too, by contacting the Secretariat ( - don't forget to provide your postal address and to specify which of the three language versions you would like.

WWD materials to download

Poster / Affiche / Cartel

Leaflet / Brochure / Folleto

Stickers / Autocollants / Pegatinas

Do-it-yourself frog / Grenouille à faire soi-même / Haz tu propria rana

20 questions for kids and teachers / 20 questions pour les enfants et leur enseignant / 20 preguntas para niños y maestros

2 comic strips / 2 bandes dessinées / 2 tiras cómicas

Tell us about YOUR World Wetlands Day

Please don't forget to tell us what you did on World Wetlands Day for the reports section of our WWD Web pages - last year's can be viewed here. We always do our best to include all the reports we receive but we would really appreciate all reports to be sent to us by May 2009. Photos, text, sample materials, and reasonably-sized PDFs are all welcome. Contact

More suggestions on reporting -- here

Examples of the translation and local adaptation of Ramsar materials:
WWD 2007
WWD 2005
WWD 2004
WWD 2003
WWD 2002

evian2.jpg (2371 bytes)danone.jpg (2960 bytes)Since its inception, the production and distribution of materials for World Wetlands Day have been financially supported by the Evian Project funded by the Danone Group.

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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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