The latest on World Wetlands Day 2010
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As promised………the latest on WWD.
Our theme for WWD 2010 isWetlands, Biodiversity and Climate Change, a theme chosen to coincide with the UN designation of 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. It also seemed timely to consider climate change and wetlands since climate change is a permanent feature in our press and understood at least at some level by many people. It was also a focus at Ramsar’s Conference in 2008 where a climate change resolution was adopted, and by the time World Wetlands Day arrives the Climate Change Convention will have met in Copenhagan and the world’s political leaders will have deliberated yet again upon climate change solutions. Perhaps then this is the right moment for us all to focus on wetland ecosystems and their biodiversity, the impact climate change will have – and importantly, what we can do about it.
Our slogan? As usual, a challenging task to find something that everyone can work with in planning a WWD campaign, and the cause of much head-scratching and debate in the Secretariat. And here it is:
Caring for wetlands – an answer to climate change
In our materials – principally the leaflet – we will expand upon our interpretation of the broad theme. We can use this as an opportunity to remind ourselves that when talk about BIODIVERSITY, we mean not just SPECIES diversity, but also ECOSYSTEM diversity and even GENETIC diversity. While we will be looking at climate change impacts on wetlands and the management of wetlands to adapt to and mitigate climate change effects, we can also take the opportunity to dwell briefly upon all the other human impacts on wetlands that are NOT climate related but have had, and continue to have, a huge impact on wetlands and their biodiversity.
In expanding the theme in this way it gives the opportunity to look at:
· the impact of climate change is on wetland SPECIES and ECOSYSTEMS, causing loss of both;
· losing wetland ecosystems means losing their ecosystem services, which means negative impacts on human populations. The poorest people, including those most directly dependent on wetland ecosystems for their livelihood, will be the least able to cope with the impacts;
· the loss of species and ecosystems is not just about climate change – climate change just makes it worse;
· there are many other non-climate related, direct drivers of biodiversity loss that need to be dealt with too: even if we stopped climate change tomorrow the loss of wetland species and ecosystems – and the ecosystem services derived from them – would continue because of other human-induced impacts including habitat loss, pollution, invasive species, excessive water withdrawals, overexploitation, etc. ;
· there are solutions to the current situation – climate change mitigation and adaptation in wetlands and a concerted effort to control the other drivers of wetland loss and degradation.
What can you expect in your WWD package this October?
· Of course there will be a hard copy poster. Our designer has already come up with some exciting ideas.
· You can also expect some stickers.
· And Pattie has agreed to produce some more cartoon strips for us.
· WWD would not be the same without our give-aways, things for kids to do at a WWD event and after, so expect this too.
· And finally a 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.
As usual, the poster and stickers will be in hard copy and the rest on a CD. We will also make available the design files of the materials on CD/DVD so you can customize them to suit your target groups.
If you have never received our WWD package before, please write to Valerie Higgins at email@example.com and ask to be put on the WWD mailing list. Please also let her know if your mailing address has changed recently.
With best wishes, Sandra Hails, Ramsar Secretariat
CEPA Programme Officer
Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Rue Mauverney 28, 1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 9990176
Fax: +41 22 9990169