World Wetlands Day 2011 - we have news
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Wetlands and Forests. I’m hoping not everyone has forgotten that this is the theme for World Wetlands Day 2011, especially chosen because 2011 is the UN International Year of Forests.
Our slogan is simple – Forests for water and wetlands – allowing us to look at the ‘big picture’ of forests in our lives, including:
Forested wetlands and the special benefits they bring. Mangroves, peatswamp forests, freshwater swamp forests: biologically diverse, helping us manage our freshwater, and providing us with many other ‘services’ across the globe including vital roles in carbon storage – our allies in the face of climate change. Despite their utility, they are often under threat from development, from drainage and conversion.
- The role of forests – wet or not – in our lives, and why looking after them matters. Vital to all human lives, freshwater availability on a global scale depends on our forests. So too, to a large extent, does freshwater quality.
- The role of forests in how our wetlands function. It’s simple: the health of our wetlands, whether forested or not, is linked to the health of forests in our catchments. Losing and degrading forests means losing and degrading wetlands.
We cannot manage without forests, whether terrestrial forests or forested wetlands, given the critical roles that they play in our lives – for water, for food, for livelihoods, for recreation….and more.
As you know, 2011 is a special year for Ramsar as we are celebrating our 40th anniversary. So – whether you use 2nd February 2011 or another time during the year to celebrate 40 years of Ramsar, we hope our Ramsar countries will designate more forested wetlands as Ramsar Sites – a gift to Ramsar and themselves in Ramsar’s 40th birthday year!
What will we be producing for WWD2011? As usual we will be providing materials which we hope will both encourage and assist you in organizing WWD events that focus upon forests, wetlands and forested wetlands in your national or local setting. Poster, stickers, information leaflet for WWD organizers, maybe a comic strip from Pattie in Argentina, and of course something to amuse your younger WWD celebrants, are anticipated. We will be ready with the mailing and electronic distribution in late September, so stay tuned.
And what about our 40th anniversary materials? We’ve already sent out information on our 40th anniversary logo – you’ll see it here www.ramsar.org/40-Anniversary/so please download it and use it whenever you can.
Coming soon after our WWD materials will be our special 40th anniversary brochure, a look at the Convention, where it came from, what it’s doing now, and where it’s going in the next 40 years. We’ll be sending this out in electronic format in October/November and making the design files available for those wishing to translate it at that time. We’ll be launching the printed version on February 2nd.
We will have more news on the WWD materials and special 40th anniversary events and activities in a few more weeks………
With best wishes, Sandra Hails, Ramsar Secretariat
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