World Wetlands Day, 2010
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 2009, the Convention’s Web site has posted reports from more than 98 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.
With the suggested World Wetlands Day theme for this year on wetlands, biodiversity and climate change, we finally arrived at our 2010 WWD slogan: Caring for wetlands – an answer to climate change.
At the end of 2009 a critical climate change meeting of the world’s leaders will take place in Copenhagen, and in January 2010 we will begin the International Year of Biodiversity, so biodiversity and climate change will definitely be hitting the headlines in the coming year. Our theme is therefore timely, and there is much to say at global and national levels about wetland species and ecosystems under continuing threat from unsustainable human practices, about the likely impact of climate change on wetland ecosystems, and importantly, about the role of wetlands in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Thus there is plenty of scope for you, the key World Wetland Day actors, in terms of your focus for the day.
As always, our approach is global, but we know that your activities are more likely to be either national or local. To make best use of our materials, we encourage you to customize them to make them more meaningful in your own situation. More information on this is available below.
WWD materials for 2010. 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 a CD and for download here. -- A full-colour leaflet for event organisers to get us all on the same page on the theme and perhaps to help organisers prepare their own materials for their target groups. It will cover where we are in terms of wetland biodiversity loss, why such losses matter to ecosystem health and ecosystem services from wetlands, what’s causing the unprecedented losses, specifics on climate change impacts on wetlands, as well as a look at adaptation and mitigation strategies. -- Two hands-on activities for children of all ages: a do-it-yourself bird and a Kaleidocycle (with an instruction sheet), for which you'll need glue, string, enthusiasm, and nimble fingers.
The WWD materials may be downloaded here. The first mailing of the same materials on CD-ROM with hard copy poster and leaflet is taking place in early October 2009, but you can ensure that you receive the materials, too, by contacting the Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org) - don't forget to provide your postal address and to specify which of the three language versions you would like.
We encourage everyone to consider customising and printing these materials using the original design files in Adobe InDesign, which we will be happy to supply to you on DVD. This has many advantages: making the images and text relevant to your own situation; translating the text into your local or national language; and printing many, many more copies than we could hope to supply for you; see some recent examples here. Please write to email@example.com if you would like to receive the design files – and don’t forget to include your full mailing address. [See note on electronic formats on the CD.)
WWD materials to download (all PDF)
Tell us about YOUR World Wetlands Day
Please don’t forget to send us a report of your WWD activities – we will post as many of them as we can on the Ramsar Web site. You can view last year’s reports here. Photos, text, sample materials, and reasonably-sized PDFs are all welcome. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.A note on reporting: If you send us just a brief note, it will be posted directly to the reports index page pretty much as you have written it, listing you as having sent it to us. For a longer report, you can send a PDF already laid out or a Word document with the images embedded in it.
Since its inception in 1997, the production and distribution of materials for World Wetlands Day have been financially supported by the Evian Project funded by the Danone Group.