World Wetlands Day 2005 -- Canada

18/03/2005

WWD 2005, University of Windsor

REPORT:
Canada: Paresh Pandya (Dr.)/ ParishPandya@yahoo.com/ (519) 250-9762 and 519-250-9855. 315 Cabana Road East, Windsor ON N9G 1A1 Canada.

We have promoted the World Wetlands Day this year at Windsor City and county of Ontario, Canada, with the theme of "There's wealth in wetland diversity - don't lose it!" We have been celebrating WWD for the University student, Elementary students, High school students as well as community people. We have arranged the mass awareness program through radio, library, and print media. The memorandum is given to Ontario and Federal government. We have made face to face contact to opinion making people. The sticker, poster and leaflet distribution to all. We have celebrated Wetlands week from February 1-7, 2005 at the University of Windsor and The Hindu Mandir Windsor.

Canada is among the 144 contracting parties to the Ramsar conservation on wetlands, an intergovernmental treaty adopted on February 2, 1971. The convention on wetlands came into force for Canada on 15 May 1981. Canada presently has 36 sites designated as wetlands of international importance, with a surface area of 13051501 hectares. Canada is having 'National Wetland Policy of Canada' for indirect protection of wetlands. We have aware the Canada's Federal Government policy on wetland conservation to all people, so people can understand this policy betters way. Therefore we have arranged lecture and face to face program for the people.

World wetlands day, celebrated annually around the world, may not break routine for Canadians, but it directly link to a subject that is more than a drop in the bucket of Canadian consciousness, our water resources. One of the national poll of Canadians conducted and found that 43 % of people surveyed identified water resources, such as wetlands, lakes and rivers, as the most important focus for environmental protection, but we have ignore 57% of Canadian who don't have real knowledge of wetlands and it's important, so we have focus on face to face program and mass awareness movement. For the Mass awareness movement, we have distributed materials and talk to the people that, wetland habitats are capable of removing over 90% of common nutrient pollutants like nitrogen and phosphorous and over 70% of the sediment that is carried in waterways. This is natural filtering process works so well that constructed wetlands are being used in Canada to clean wastewater like sewage and storm water, this are the things we could put in the mind of people.

We have conveyed the message about one third of Canada's species at risk, are found in wetland ecosystems. Even though, historical data indicate that as much as 70% of wetlands in Canada's populated area have disappeared so that to empower wetland protection, we need to be able to equate wetland loss by mass movement and talking to the students, opinion making class, media, teacher and politician too. On the part of world wetlands day celebration we have arranged exhibition, drawing competition, seminar, workshop, lecture, presentation for all the Canadian.

We have contacted university departments, faculties, Forster High School, New Canadian Centre-YMCA, GEC School Board, GECS Board, CKLM 800AM Radio, Hindu Mandir-Windsor, CBCC T.V. news channel-Radio, Mayor, Sandra Pupatello MPP & Minister-Ontario, Brain Masse M.P., the wale pole island, Ontario Science Centre-Toronto, Ontario College of Teachers-Toronto, Globe and Mail news paper-Toronto, Windsor Star news paper, Teachers of School, University of Windsor and University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, etc. , Essex Region Conservation Authority, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Ducks Canada, Dwight Duncan, MPP, McMaster University, etc.

Paresh Pandya (Ph.D.), Clinton Beckford (Ph. D.)
WWD CELEBRATION COMMITTEE
University of Windsor, the Faculty of Education,
Hindu Mandir Windsor,
WINDSOR, ONTARIO, CANADA

World Wetlands Day
2005

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

Paresh Pandya (Ph. D.)
Faculty of Education
University of Windsor,
401 Sunset Avenues,
Windsor Ontario
N9B 3P4
CANADA

2 February each year is World Wetlands Day (WWD).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.

University of Windsor going to celebrate 2 February as a World Wetlands Day at Windsor, Ontario Canada by organizing lectures and seminars for students and community people. Theme for World Wetlands Day 2005 is the cultural and biological diversity of wetlands and the slogan there's wealth in wetland diversity - don't lose it! Yet still the area drained, polluted, over-exploited and under-valued. This year we want to send out a reminder for WWD. Wetlands are an essential part of our lives.

Wetlands work for us every day from the top to the coast and it's the responsibility of each and every one of us to consider how we might help in their conservation and sustainable use.

Poster, leaflet and sticker will be distributed for raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general. It's time now to do for world wetlands day 2005. This year a theme that will allow to focus own wetlands and consider these wetlands work for local levels, and to consider too how to manage wetlands so that they continue to deliver benefits to mankind.

-- Canada is a huge, beautiful and diverse country, Canada is second largest country in the world, it has an Area 9,984,070 Km² and its landmass is 9,093,507 Km².
-- Canada holds over 25% of the world's Wetlands. Like rainforests and coral reefs; wetlands are some of the richest plant and wildlife habitats in the world!
-- Wetlands are up there with tropical rainforests for their productivity. They are found all over the world-the only continent that does not have wetlands is Antarctica. Canada is fortunate to be home to more than 1,270,000 square kilometers (127 million hectares) of wetlands. That's nearly 25 per cent of all the wetlands on Earth!
-- Canada holds over 20% of the world's fresh water. Its longest river, the Mackenzie, stretches 4241 Km.
-- The convention on wetlands came into force for Canada on 15 May 1981. Canada presently has 36 sites designated as wetlands of International importance, with a surface area of 13,051,501 hectares
-- Ontario presently has 8 sites out of 36 sites designated as wetlands of International Importance with surface area of 54,419 hectares. It's a 0.42% of total area of Canada.
-- Unfortunately, wetland loss continues in Canada. As much as 70 per cent of Canada's original wetlands have been lost in some areas of the country. That's why we have to works to conserve, restore and manage Canada's wetlands for waterfowl, other wildlife and people.
-- Canada is home to nearly 25 per cent of all the wetlands on Earth. In fact, about 14 per cent of Canada's total area is covered in wetlands. While that may seem like a lot, the fact is that wetlands continue to disappear every day.
-- Wetlands naturally filter water resources, improving the quality of the water Canadians drink and use every day.
-- Wetlands act like giant sponges, slowing the flow of surface water, reducing the impact of flooding and recharging groundwater supplies.
-- Wetlands and vegetation form buffers that separate land-use activities (such as agriculture) from water bodies.
-- Wetlands have the potential to remove and store greenhouse gases from the Earth's atmosphere.
-- Wetlands help to prevent soil erosion.
-- Wetlands are a key link in the water system chain. Canadians have made it clear that water is one of our most important environmental issues. Wetland and water conservation is critical if we want to keep our water healthy. The next time you take a drink of water, think about how Canada's wetlands help to keep our water clean.
-- Wetlands are a vital part of our environment. Unfortunately, when people think of wetlands, many think of them as wastelands. This couldn't be further from the truth.
-- The 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is one of the world's first global conservation treaties and the only global instrument in force dealing with water resources.
-- The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. There are presently 144 Contracting Parties to the Convention, with 1401 wetland sites, totaling 122.8 million hectares, designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
-- Between 1900 and 1995, human water withdrawals increased by a factor of more than six, which is more than twice the rate of population growth
-- In 1995, some 41% of the world's population, or 2.3 billion people, inhabited river basins under water stress.
-- 82 of 114 watersheds studied world-wide have less than 5% of their land area under national protection
-- billion people do not have access to safe drinking water
-- 2.3 billion people currently live around rivers where there are frequent water shortage and 1.7 billion of these people live in areas where water is scare
-- 3 million die each year, many of them children, from illnesses caused by contaminated water
-- In 20th century we destroyed 50% of the world's remaining wetlands
-- There is no specific wetlands legislation in Ontario or Canada. Wetlands receive indirect protection through Ontario's Planning Act , Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act , Municipal Act , Endangered Species Act , Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act , Conservation Land Tax Act , Conservation Authorities Act , Environmental Assessment Act , and Ontario Water Resources Act .
-- Wetlands are also specifically recognized in the natural heritage protection measures of Ontario's Planning Act. However, other legislation, such as the provincial Drainage Act, still work against wetland conservation by permitting wetland drainage for agricultural purposes. In most cases, the installation of municipal drains significantly alters the local water cycle, resulting in dramatic changes to wetland area and function.
-- At the federal level, the Canada Wildlife Act , Fisheries Act , Migratory Birds Convention Act , and Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, provide some protection to wetlands through species and habitat conservation measures.
-- Most often, wetlands are protected through policies and agreements. While certainly valuable, these vehicles do not have the same clout as legislation.

Ontario's Wetlands:

Name of wetlands Area (ha.) Date

1) Long Point 3,730 24/05/82
2) St. Claire 244 06/10/85
3) Southern James Bay 25290 27/05/87
4) Polar Bear Provincial park 2408 27/05/87
5) Point Pille 1564 27/05/87
6) Mer Bleue Conservation Area 3343 26/09/95
7) Matchedash Bay Provincial Wildlife area1840 31/10/96
8) Minesing Swamp 6000 31/10/96

World Wetlands Day 2005

Wetlands are found all over the world
Wetlands are up there with tropical rainforests for their productivity. They are found all over the world-the only continent that does not have wetlands is Antarctica. Canada is fortunate to be home to more than 1,270,000 square kilometers (127 million hectares) of wetlands. That's nearly 25 per cent of all the wetlands on Earth!

Wetlands keep our water clean
Water quality is one of the most important environmental issues facing Canada and the world at large. As nature's water filters, wetlands play a key role in keeping our water clean. The many types of plants, bacteria and animals that live in wetlands remove many harmful impurities.

Wetlands are valuable wildlife habitat
Wetlands and their surrounding uplands are habitat for approximately 600 species of plants, animals and insects in Canada. This includes mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish and many invertebrates. These species use wetlands as habitat for food, water, breeding and nesting grounds, resting areas and shelter.

Wetlands can help to reduce flooding
Often, spring runoff and heavy rain can cause flooding. There is simply too much water for the landscape to absorb. When wetlands are lost, so is a natural storage area for water. Wetlands can help to reduce the risk and severity of flooding by storing excess water and slowing the flow.

Wetlands are great places to have fun
Thanks to their natural beauty and abundant wildlife, wetlands make great places to relax and have fun. Activities like hiking, wildlife watching, hunting, angling, camping and canoeing are just some of the things people do in wetland areas. Visit a wetland near you to see how you can enjoy the great outdoors! Watersheds are landscape-level systems through which water drains and flows to a common area like a river, lake or ocean. Wetlands are an important part of watersheds, as they naturally store and filter water that passes through them.

Wetlands can help treat wastewater
One of the problems faced by society is how to properly dispose of wastewater and sewage. Wetlands are so good at removing impurities from water that they can help to treat and clean wastewater. In fact, specially constructed treatment wetlands have been used to treat wastewater in Europe for over 50 years. Several communities and businesses in Canada now use wetlands to treat their wastewater.

Wetlands make great outdoor classrooms
Wetlands are full of life and they make great places to learn about biology and the environment! They are full of the 'raw materials' that make learning fun and effective.

Wetlands help to replenish groundwater
As wetlands store excess water, they release it back into the environment. Water held in wetlands seeps slowly back into the ground and is purified and filtered. This supplies people with clean water.

Wetlands help to guard against erosion
Thanks to the vegetation found in wetlands, these habitats can help to protect against soil erosion. These plants stabilize the soil, holding it in place against erosive forces. Plants break up waves and currents that would otherwise impact on soil. By trapping sediments found in the water, wetland plants also help to reinforce soils against erosion.

Canada's wetlands continue to disappear
Despite these many benefits that wetlands provide to people and wildlife, they continue to be destroyed across Canada. As much as 70 percent have been lost in some areas of the country.


Place: The Faculty of Education,
The University of Windsor
Room# 2225
Day: February 1, 2005,
Time: 5-8pm

World Wetland Day Celebration Committee
Faculty of Education
University of Windsor,
401 Sunset Avenue,
Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4

INVITATION

Come And Join Us!

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

WWD-2005
February 2 each year is celebrated globally as World Wetlands Day.

This year we are featuring the critical link between cultural and biological diversities. Many of the world's wetlands owe their existence and continued vitality to cultural practices or, are conserved because of cultural needs. Thus maintenance of biological diversity in wetlands is often closely linked with the economic needs, livelihoods and beliefs of people. Of course, the other side of the coin is that people can misuse wetlands and cause loss and damage to the biological diversity - and at the same time to cultural diversity!

Wetlands occur across most of Canada. Their location usually depends on local factors of drainage, topography and surface material. Their health is inextricably linked to human activity. Like everywhere else in the world, there are concerns about the state of Canada's wetlands and initiatives to conserve and preserves bio-diversity in these sensitive ecosystems.

Place: The Faculty of Education, the University of Windsor Room# 2225
Day and Time: February 1, 2005, 5-8pm
RSVP:
Paresh Pandya (Ph. D), Windsor Hindu Mandir, 315 Cabana Road East, Windsor, ON N9G 1A1.
(519) 253-9762, email:parishpandya@yahoo.com.

Clinton Beckford (Ph. D)., Faculty of Education, University of Windsor,
401 Sunset Ave., Windsor, ON N9B 3P4.
(519) 253-3000, Ext. 3815, Email:clinton@uwindsor.ca.

Wetlands in Canada
Wetlands cover about 14% of the land area of Canada. They were once abundantly distributed throughout the country. Recently, however, wetlands have become an increasingly scarce resource in settled area of the country. Throughout Canada, wetlands have been adversely affected by land use practices that have resulted in vegetation destruction, nutrient and toxic loading, sedimentation, and altered flow regimes. For example, in southern Ontario, 68% of the original wetlands have been converted from their naturally state to support alternative uses such as agriculture and housing. Similarly, only about 25% of the original wetlands of the "pothole" region of southwestern Manitoba remain in existence. In the North, however, most of the wetlands are intact.

Wetlands protection
How can we protect our remaining wetlands? Through conservation programs, Wetlands conservation encompasses the protection, enhancement, and use of wetland resources according to principles that will assure their highest long-term social, economic, and ecological benefits. It is recognized that some wetlands should be protected and managed in their natural state; some actively managed to allow sustained, appropriate use of wetland renewable resources; and some developed for their non-renewable resource values. A Significant program that aims at protecting our remaining wetlands, for that mass awareness programs needed. Our goal to restore, protects, and enhances wetland habitat for the benefit of waterfowl, biodiversity, and humans.

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

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