World Wetlands Day 2005

15/10/2004

"There's wealth in wetland diversity
- don't lose it!"

Our theme for World Wetlands Day 2005 is the cultural and biological diversity of wetlands and we have used the slogan There's wealth in wetland diversity - don't lose it! to reflect this on the enclosed poster and stickers. We hope you will find this focus and the materials useful in your activities for WWD this coming February.

The cultural and biological diversity of wetlands together represent a natural wealth that sustains us both physically and emotionally. The cultural heritage in our wetlands is the result of the millennia-long association between people and wetlands, an association that has brought "wealth" to past generations and, with your help, will continue to do so for future generations. It's an association that developed because of the utility of wetlands - in short, the diversity of wetland plant and animal life has provided sustenance as well as many other benefits for people.

The images on the poster and stickers were chosen to represent the cultural and biological diversity of wetlands on one side, with a colourful, vibrant series of images, and on the other side, the result of "losing" this wealth, through wetland pollution and destruction.

The family of Yezo Sika deer at the Kushiro Marsh Ramsar Site in Japan; the clown fish, endemic to the Maldive Islands, hiding in the tentacles of a sea anemone on a coral reef; and the diminutive sundew, a tiny insectivorous plant that inhabits peat bogs (in this case in Slovakia), are testimony to the beauty of the biological diversity in our wetlands. The rice terraces in Laos and the artisanal salt extraction at the Marais salants de Guérande et du Més Ramsar Site in France illustrate the cultural landscapes created by human use of wetlands, while the totora boat from the Suriqui community at the Lake Titicaca Ramsar Site in Bolivia and the fish traps at Hadejia-Nguru wetlands, a Ramsar site in Nigeria, demonstrate the ingenuity of humans in using wetland plants to construct boats and fishing gear for exploiting the wealth of wetlands. And finally, the carved stone in the centre of the poster comes from the ancient Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia, constructed during the 11-13th centuries - this particular cameo in the temple wall is evidence of the close association between humans and wetland species, and it's yet another example of the cultural heritage associated with our wetlands through their utility to people.

We hope you will join with us on 2nd February and celebrate the wealth in the diversity of your wetlands.

Please don't forget to tell the Secretariat 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 2005. Photos, text and sample materials are all welcome. Contact ramsar@ramsar.org.
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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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