Fernanda Samuel, Young Wetland Champion 2022, becomes the first “Voice for Wetlands”

Fernanda Samuel, Young Wetland Champion 2022, becomes the first “Voice for Wetlands”

8 February 2023


Photo Credit: César Magalhães, Novo Jornal Angola

The Secretariat of the Convention of Wetlands is pleased to name Fernanda Samuel of Angola as the first 2023 “Voice for Wetlands”. Ms Samuel received the 2022 Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award for Young Wetland Champions in recognition of her efforts to restore mangroves in Angola and thereby improve livelihoods in her community.

As a “Voice for Wetlands”, Fernanda will use the platform to raise awareness of the value of wetlands and the need for their urgent restoration wherever they have been degraded. 

Nearly 35% of the world’s wetlands have been lost or degraded since the 1970s due to human activities such as intensive agriculture, urban development and pollution. The loss of wetlands is continuing at alarming rates around the world.

“Voices for Wetlands” is a year-long initiative started by the Secretariat of the Convention on World Wetlands Day in 2023. It aims to increase awareness of wetlands and their value to people and the planet through the voices of individuals who have shown an exemplary commitment to their protection and wise use.  

World Wetlands Day, held every year on 2 February, is a United Nations international day to raise global awareness about wetlands. The 2023 theme, It’s time for wetland restoration, highlights the urgent need to restore wetlands. 

Fernanda Samuel was a finalist of the UN Environment Programme’s Young Champions of the Earth Prize in 2020, and since 2021 has been a member of the Council of the Republic of Angola, a collegiate consultative body consulted by the Head of State.