World Wetlands Day 2008 - index page


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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. 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. From 1997 to 2007, the Convention’s Web site has posted reports from more than 95 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.

World Wetlands Day 2008-- "Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People"

The Convention's suggested theme for World Wetlands Day, 2 February 2008, is Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People, and this will also be the theme for Ramsar's 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in October-November 2008 in the Republic of Korea.

As we approach World Wetlands Day, we have taken an opportunity to introduce to the Ramsar community, and the people you reach out to, a few key topics that exemplify both the direct, positive effects on human health of maintaining healthy wetlands - such as the provision of food, clean water, pharmaceutical products, etc. - and the direct negative effects of mismanaging wetlands that result in the impairment of our health and even the loss of life - such as through the effects of water-related diseases, burning peatlands, floods, and water pollution.

Reports of World Wetlands Day 2008 activities

WWD materials for 2008. As in the past, the Ramsar Secretariat is distributing materials (in English, French, and Spanish) that we hope will be helpful to you in your WWD activities. The basic mailing includes -- in hardcopy - the poster mentioned above and a sticker, as well as a CD-ROM containing high-res PDF versions of the thematic fact sheets (which are keyed to the poster and meant to be displayed with it), of the poster itself, and of a surprise turtle giveaway for the children, suitable for printing but not for editing them. A second CD has also been prepared with the original designer files for those who wish to customize the materials or translate them into local languages, but that will be sent only on special request - and such a request should come to us as soon as possible. [See note on electronic formats on the CD.)

The first mailing took place in early October 2007, but you can ensure that you receive the materials, too, by contacting Valerie Higgins at the Secretariat ( - don't forget to provide your postal address and to specify which of the three language versions you would like.

WWD materials to download

Poster / Affiche / Cartel

Thematic sheets / Fiches thématiques / Hojas informativas temáticas

Stickers / Autocollants / Pegatinas

Do-it-yourself turtles / Tortues à faire soi-même / Tortugas a hacer tú mismo

Tell us about YOUR World Wetlands Day

Please don't forget to tell us 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 2008. Photos, text, sample materials, and reasonably-sized PDFs are all welcome. Contact

More suggestions on reporting -- here

Examples of the translation and local adaptation of Ramsar materials:

evian2.jpg (2371 bytes)danone.jpg (2960 bytes)Since its inception, the production and distribution of materials for World Wetlands Day have been financially supported by the Evian Project funded by the Danone Group.

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