World Wetlands Day 2001
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. Subsequent World Wetlands Days have been organized around such suggested themes as the importance of water to life and of wetlands to the supply of water and, in 1999, on "People and Wetlands: the Vital Link". 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. In 1998, and again in 1999 and 2000, the Convention’s Web site has posted reports from more than 60 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.
Wetland world - A world to discover!
The suggested theme for World Wetlands Day 2001 is "Wetland world - A world to discover!" One of the items on offer from the Ramsar Bureau in honor of WWD 2001 is a neat little brochure on this theme -- you can view the text here on this site, and ask for any number of hard copies to be sent to you in the post.
(Photo right: WWD 2000 in Geelong (Victoria, Australia). Photo: Liz Gould.)
30 YEARS HELPING YOU CARE FOR YOUR WETLANDS!
Moreover, World Wetlands Day 2001 falls on the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Convention and marks 30 years of work and progress by the Convention on Wetlands. The wetlands community around the world is invited to celebrate this anniversary on World Wetlands Day. The Ramsar Administrative Authority in each country and the wetlands community at large are encouraged to focus on the efforts made, and the obstacles encountered, in implementing the three main commitments of the countries that have joined the Convention: 1) the inclusion of internationally important wetlands in the Ramsar List; 2) planning for the "wise use" of all wetlands; and 3) international cooperation on shared water systems and species. The Anniversary's motto is:30 Years Helping You Care for Your Wetlands!
This presents a splendid opportunity for government agencies and citizen groups at all levels to bring to public notice the vital importance of wetland benefits for human well-being. At wetland sites large and small, in both the southern and northern hemispheres, and even in the frozen far north, activities of all sorts will be carried out on and around 2 February in celebration of the values, benefits, and beauty of wetlands. The governments of many Ramsar member countries use WWD to help make their citizens aware of what they are doing to assure the health of the nation’s wetlands and to implement the Convention’s cornerstone "wise use principle", synonymous with sustainable use. And, at the same time, school classes, nature clubs, birdwatching societies, and park managers at the local level find imaginative ways to involve their communities and bring wetland values into public focus.
Reporting on World Wetlands Days of the past
Since 1997, the Ramsar Bureau has welcomed news from everyone of their plans for World Wetlands Day activities and reports of their activities afterward, and has endeavored to post them all on the Ramsar Web site. Government agencies and private citizens from all over the world have sent us their news, and these reports make an excellent archive of ideas for future celebrations.
Here is what the Ramsar Bureau offers the Wetland Celebrants for February 2001
Steal these logos. Use them. Sew them onto your school uniform. Steal all this other stuff, too -- plagiarize it freely, tell everybody about WWD 2001.
Wetland world - A world to discover!
Values and Functions of Wetlands (hardcopy)
Ramsar Poster Exhibit (limited availability)
Personal WWD appearances:
by the Secretary General - Entebbe, Uganda
and Anada Tiéga in Algeria